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Goal: Improve Residential Energy Efficiency

Our most promising energy resource lies not in some new fuel or yet-to-be-invented technology, but rather in the potential to reduce demand through improvements in energy efficiency. This toolkit describes policies that can be used to reduce energy consumption in the residential sector, helping to mitigate environmental impacts, reduce utility costs, and improve home comfort.
Click on the boxes below to learn more about ways to improve home energy efficiency.
This section of was developed with generous support from Wells Fargo


Start here for an overview of the tools discussed in this section and the accompanying Forum discussion group.

Set standards and offer incentives
Adopt policies to spur investment in residential energy efficiency, whether through regulatory mechanisms or incentives programs.

Provide low-cost
Support energy-efficient upgrades with financing tools designed to help families better afford the costs.

Build contractor
Ensure the quality and availability of energy-efficient retrofits and rehab, and help to create a skilled workforce.

Provide audits to measure and verify performance
Identify opportunities for energy-efficient improvements and confirm that the work has been well-executed.

Educate consumers about energy efficiency
Build awareness of the value of
energy-efficiency and steps that families can take to reduce energy use.

Photo credits (clockwise from top left): The Christopher, New York, NY -- photo credit: Todd France Photography, courtesy of Common Ground; Mills of Carthage, Cincinnati OH -- courtesy of Potterhill Homes; Portland Place, Minneapolis MN -- courtesy of LHB, Incl; Troy Gardens, Madison WI -- photo credit: Madison Area Community Land Trust; Greenbridge, White Center WA -- photo credit: Rick Keating, courtesy of King County Housing Authority; Benedict Commons, Aspen CO -- photo courtesy of Jonathan Rose Companies

The Center for Housing Policy gratefully acknowledges the guidance of Lori Bamberger in development of this section, as well as input and feedback provided for this policy section by the following reviewers (in alphabetical order): Todd Nedwick, National Housing Trust; Brian Ng, US Department of Energy; Jeremy Signon, US Green Building Council.

This section of was developed with generous support from Wells Fargo. Please note, however, that the views and opinions expressed in the Toolkit, as well as any errors or omissions, are those of the Center for Housing Policy only and do not necessarily reflect the positions of reviewers or any other entity.