Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) announced Thursday that Virginia has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive a $2,886,500 competitive award to improve energy efficiency in residential homes.
The award, which is distributed through DOE’s State Energy Program, is part of their Strengthening Building Retrofit Markets project and will help establish Virginia and three other recipient states as national models for efficiency retrofitting.
“This investment will lower energy bills for Virginia’s families, boost job growth, and increase support for companies that specialize in energy-saving technologies,” says Webb. “Energy efficient technologies often have the highest short-term payoff as they lower energy costs for consumers and safeguard our environment.”
Virginia’s award will be paired with those of Massachusetts, Alabama and Washington in a four-state partnership which will retrofit at least 12,150 homes by 2013.
The objective of the project is to achieve significant energy savings in each home while sustainably transforming the market for home energy improvements.
Existing technologies in energy efficiency retrofitting, such as air-tight ducts, insulation and caulking, efficient and properly installed heating and cooling systems, and building control systems, can reduce energy use in homes and buildings by up to 40 percent and cut energy bills by $40 billion annually, according to the Department of Energy.
The project will serve as a national model that will increase home retrofits beyond 2013.
Webb and Warner are both strong supporters of Home Star, a program that gives direct consumer incentives for residential efficiency retrofits. They both sponsored the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 (S.3434), which passed the House of Representatives and is currently awaiting passage out of the Senate Finance Committee.
The Department of Energy’s State Energy Program provides financial and technical assistance to states to develop state strategies and goals to address their energy priorities and promote America’s energy security through the deployment of reliable, clean and affordable energy.