With $10 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, the NH Better Buildings program was established as an initiative to achieve transformative energy savings and reductions in fossil fuel use and greenhouse gases through deep energy retrofits and complementary sustainable energy solutions. The goal of the program was to reduce energy use by a minimum of 15% through energy efficiency upgrades in residential and commercial buildings in the communities.
NH's BetterBuildings program was recognized at the
ACI National Home Performance Conference in July 2013.
Pictured: Ted Kuchinski, Community Development Finance Authority;
Kate Peters, NH BetterBuildings; Karen Cramton, OSI;
Deputy Asst. Secretary Kathleen Hogan, US Dept. of Energy;
Claudia Tighe, US Dept. of Energy.
Throughout the grant period, the NH Better Buildings Program was focused on overcoming key market barriers including demand for energy efficiency services, bank participation and understanding of the energy efficiency marketplace, availability of funding for energy efficiency, and the public's understanding of audit and upgrade processes. The program was successful in transforming the market by increasing demand, providing funding, and increasing the public's understanding of energy efficiency – leading to the completion of over 1,200 energy audits and 1,000 energy upgrades of 15% energy savings or more.
- The "typical" commercial or residential energy efficiency project had an 8 to 11 year payback without incentives; with incentives, the payback was in the range of 4 to 5 years.
- The "typical" residential project cost $5,500 with an estimated annual energy savings of $650.
- The "typical" commercial customer could be described as a "main street" type business. The "typical" commercial energy efficiency project cost $40,000 and had an estimated annual savings of $3,000.