Energy Fit Homes℠: A powerful new tool for your energy design toolkit
This post originally appeared on EnergyFitHomes.com. Energy Fit Homes℠ is Minnesota’s first energy efficiency certification for existing homes. Certification standards focus on cost-effective upgrades that improve a home’s energy efficiency, with added benefits of increased comfort and lower utility bills. Established in 2014, the program has certified over 250 homes throughout the Twin Cities metro area.
Energy Fit Homes program staff Isaac Smith and Rebecca Olson presented at “Energy Fit Homes — A Tool to Transform the Market for Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes” last week at the Duluth Energy Design Conference & Expo. Isaac answered a few questions about the Expo, residential energy efficiency, and why Energy Fit Homes is now more relevant than ever.
What is the Duluth Energy Design Conference & Expo?
It is an energy-efficient building and technologies conference held in Duluth every year. While the main focus is residential, there has been an increase in commercial sessions available in recent years. It is also a good place to make connections and build relationships with people in the industry.
Who attends the Expo? What types of presenters do you expect to see?
The target audience for the Expo is experts in the residential energy field. This includes contractors, consultants, architects, and engineers. There are also a number of exhibitors that attend every year to showcase the latest products and services available in the industry.
The presenters are industry leading contractors and research organizations interested in sharing their latest projects and building techniques. They range from university and college professors to owners of private contracting companies.
What makes Energy Fit Homes a good fit?
Energy Fit Homes is a good compliment to many of the topics discussed at the Expo. While there are many great resources available to homeowners looking to make their home more energy efficient, it can still be difficult to motivate homeowners to act on completing upgrades. A big reason for this is that the energy efficiency of a home is basically invisible, especially at time of sale. Energy Fit Homes is a tool to incentivize homeowners to complete energy efficiency upgrades, leveraging market forces to help homeowners recapture the cost of upgrades when it comes time to sell their home. Many of the presentations at the Expo discuss ways to save energy when remodeling homes, and our presentation adds new perspective around motivating homeowners to make energy efficiency upgrades.
Why is Energy Fit Homes relevant to the issues and ideas that will be discussed this year?
”Green” certifications are growing in popularity, and more homeowners are becoming interested in home energy efficiency, especially when it comes to purchasing a new home. So far, most of the focus has been on new homes and industry buzz-terms like net-zero and passive house, while the biggest opportunity for energy savings in Minnesota is in existing homes. Our goal is to provide an incentive so these savings can be achieved.
What do you hope to accomplish by presenting at the Expo this year?
Our goal is to increase awareness of Energy Fit Homes with experts in the industry, and start to gain support for increasing the reach of the program. Energy Fit Homes is currently only offered in the Twin Cities metro area, and we would like to expand to greater Minnesota. Presenting at the Expo provides an opportunity to inform industry leaders and potential partners about the program and our future goals.
Find out more about Energy Fit Homes.
Image Credit: Chrissy Hunt via Creative Commons