Reducing Energy Use in Existing Homes by 30%: Learning From Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

Stacey Rothgeb, C. Liaukus

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The improvement of existing homes in the United States can have a much greater impact on overall residential energy use than the construction of highly efficient new homes. There are over 130 million existing housing units in the U.S., while annually new construction represents less than two percent of the total supply (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). Therefore, the existing housing stock presents aclear opportunity and responsibility for Building America (BA) to guide the remodeling and retrofit market toward higher performance existing homes. There are active programs designed to improve the energy performance of existing homes. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) is a market-rate program among them. BARA's research in this project verified that the New Jersey HPwES program isachieving savings in existing homes that meet or exceed BA's goal of 30%. Among the 17 HPwES projects with utility data included in this report, 15 have actual energy savings ranging from 24% to 46%. Further, two of the homes achieved that level of energy savings without the costly replacement of heating and cooling equipment, which indicates that less costly envelope packages could be offeredto consumers unable to invest in more costly mechanical packages, potentially creating broader market impact.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages53
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building America Research Alliance (BARA), Kent, Washington

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-62328

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4455


  • BARA
  • Building America
  • Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES)
  • infiltration
  • New Jersey
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • retrofit


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