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Report Proposes National Residential Energy Efficiency Program

Bringing Residential Energy Programs To Scale/ National Residential Energy Efficiency Program was published by the Energy Programs Consortium (EPC) in August. It outlines key considerations for a national residential energy efficiency retrofit program, including low-income homes. 

The report:

  1. Provides a comprehensive overview of energy consumption and expenditures within the residential housing sector, identifying differences in consumption according to building age, homeowner tenure, and region.
  2. Summarizes carbon emissions data and their potential value by housing sector and income group and energy savings.
  3. Identifies financing tools to fund retrofits and leverage government subsidies.

To support a national residential energy efficiency program, the report says the federal government would need to make a long-term commitment in order to convince the private sector to invest in providing retrofit services. One financing option is a national public benefit fund charge similar to the charges now imposed in twenty-two states that support low-income energy efficiency, rate assistance, and renewable energy programs. A charge of 1 mill per kilowatt-hour (1/10 of one cent) across all uses of electricity, for example, would raise approximately $3 billion annually, enough to support the retrofitting of approximately 2 million homes annually

The report says low-income households occupy 35 percent of the nation’s housing units, and account for 31 percent of total national residential energy consumption. A large majority of these low-income households have overwhelmingly high housing costs — 29 percent spend more than 60 percent of their income on housing costs alone.

The EPC is a nonprofit energy research organization sponsored by the National Association of State Energy Officials, National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, National Association of State Regulatory Commissioners, and the National Association for State Community Services Programs.

Source: EPC