Cold weather and high energy prices spark homeowner interest in efficiency improvements
Washington — Recognizing the enormous potential for energy savings and comfort improvements, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently launched the Energy Efficient Rehab Advisor, a Web-based tool designed to help homeowners, contractors, architects, facility managers and others to improve energy efficiency in existing homes during renovation and remodeling.
In six clicks the Advisor provides recommendations for cost-effectively increasing the energy efficiency of a typical renovation project in single-family or multifamily housing. These recommendations are based on the building type, age, location and project — and they are free. The Advisor suggests specific actions to get the most value from a typical remodeling project.
Increasing a home’s energy-efficiency is relatively simple, especially when coupled with a planned renovation. Making a few easy improvements, like sealing air leaks when finishing a basement or upgrading to ENERGY STAR ® qualified appliances with a kitchen remodel, can produce big savings on energy bills, increase comfort and create a quieter, healthier indoor environment.
“Improving housing affordability is a key component of HUD’s mission. The Energy Efficient Rehab Advisor represents one way HUD can help identify energy efficiency improvements and pinpoint cost savings for any remodeling project,” said Mike Blanford, a research engineer with the Office of Policy Development and Research who managed the development of the Advisor.
HUD developed the Advisor in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The energy efficiency recommendations are based on ENERGY STAR specifications, where applicable. HUD recommends following these Advisor’s guidelines when undertaking any type of renovation project in single-family and multifamily housing, whether it is privately-owned or public housing.
Bob Paquin, director of HUD’s Boston Office of Community Planning and Development noted, “The Advisor sets a new standard for ‘user-friendly.’ It offers easy access to a complex subject. This tool is comprehensive, efficient and informative.”
The Energy Efficient Rehab Advisor was developed for HUD by D&R; International, Ltd., and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Visit www.rehabadvisor.com to learn more.