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Virginia's Regional Energy Alliances

Virginia is undertaking a Multi-State Model for Catalyzing the National Home Energy Retrofit Market Project with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy under its Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.  This program will improve energy efficiency across the state, and DMME is working with Alabama, Massachusetts and Washington to model a program that can be replicated in other areas of the country.  The program is testing a variety of efforts to increase homeowner demand for energy efficient upgrades, provide affordable financing for those upgrades, and create new jobs in Virginia’s energy market.

The program is partnering with local nonprofit organizations, known as Regional Energy Alliances (REAs), that are undertaking projects in Charlottesville, Richmond, Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Arlington County.  These REAs are developing community-based strategies based on research showing that homeowners are more receptive to learning about energy efficiency from someone they know and trust in their community.  The Building Auditors associated with the Project are using a rating system developed by Earth Advantage Institute called the Energy Performance Score (EPS) to measure the energy efficiency of homes and to provide homeowners with recommended energy efficiency retrofit projects that they can make to their homes to lower their energy usage. The rating system also provides homeowners with information regarding which household behaviors use the most energy.  Home improvement professionals and real estate agents can also use the EPS to determine which upgrades have the largest impact on energy usage and that will add to the market value of the homes when they are being sold.

For more information on Virginia’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, Click here.

To learn more about Virginia’s Regional Energy Alliance organizations, go to the following sites:

Charlottesville Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP)
Richmond Regional Energy Alliance (RREA)
Blacksburg/Roanoke programs
Arlington County LEAP

Here is an energy efficiency “More Bang for Your Buck” news clip from the Richmond NBC affiliate (Channel 12 News) about how homeowners can save energy by conducting an energy audit of their home to point out areas in need of energy improvement.  Although state rebates are no longer available, REAs around the Commonwealth offer help with financial incentives to assist homeowners in achieving their energy efficiency goals.