sustainable home makeover

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  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    Sustainable Home Makeover is a high-impact service strategy in which

    the mayors office engages volunteers tohelp homeowners assess their homesenergy efficiency and perform simplerenovations to improve it.

    s u s t a i n a b i l



    a s e r v i c e b l u e p r i n t I M PA C T A R E A

    S e r v i c e a s a S t r a t e g y :

  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y


  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    I M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A

    Conducting home energy audits and executing basic renovations that emergefrom the audits are inexpensive and easy ways to improve the environment.Research indicates that homes in the United Statesmore than 130 millionin totalaccount for more than 20% of carbon dioxide emissions.1 If eachhome reduced its energy consumption by 40%, greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by up to 160 million metric tons annually.2 In addition toproducing environmental bene ts, investments in home sustainability cangenerate signi cant nancial returns for households. Minimal residential

    home retro ts reduce homeowner energy bills by an average of $160 perhousehold per year, freeing up household income for other essential expenses.3 By deploying volunteers to complete home retro ts in their communities, themayors o ce can achieve substantial environmental and economic impact atmodest cost.

    1 Towards a Climate-Friendly Built Environment. Prepared by Oak Ridge National Laboratory forthe Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2005.

    2 Recovery rough Retro t. Vice President Biden, the Middle Class Task Force and the Council onEnvironmental Quality, October 2009.

    3 Recovery rough Retro t.

    Sus t a inab l e Home

    Makeove r i s a h igh -

    impac t s e rv i ce s t r a t egy in

    wh ich the mayor s o ff i ce

    engages vo lun tee r s t o he lp

    homeowner s a s se s s t he i r

    homes ene rgy e ff i c i ency

    and pe r fo rm s imp le

    renova t ions t o improve i t .




    Volunteers are trained and thenhelp install energy e cientmodi cations such as attic andbasement insulation, sink faucetaerators, dual ush toilet levers,adjustable thermostats, andcompact uorescent lights, as

    well as weather strip windows anddoors and insert window and doorcaulking. ese renovations cansigni cantly reduce a householdscarbon footprintand its utility bills.

  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y


    1 Mayors o ce, with input from relevant partner organizations,selects which households the initiative will target. Targeted homesmight include those owned by low-income families or seniors, olderdwellings, or homes damaged by natural disasters.

    2 Mayors o ce works with its partners to design and implement anoutreach plan to recruit targeted homeowners for participation.

    3 Mayors o ce, along with its partners, determines the range of home renovation tasks volunteers will complete. Volunteer tasksshould demonstrably maximize energy e ciency while tting withinthe constraints of volunteers abilities, safety considerations, and re-source availability. Volunteer tasks could include weather strippingdoors and windows, installing low- ow showerheads and sink aerators,and installing attic and basement insulation.

    4 Once an interested household has been contacted and vetted, atrained volunteer or sta member from a partner organizationconducts an energy audit and compiles a list of suggested renovationsfor the household.

    5 Volunteers implement renovations recommended in the energy audit, under the guidance of knowledgeable and trained partnersand using the safety and building supplies provided by sponsors.


  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    I M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A

    1. Likely partners for this initiative include non-pro t organizations withan environmental and/or green building focus, for-pro t businesses with

    home renovation expertise, and utility companies and contractors. Generalvolunteer management organizations also may be great partners to help recruitvolunteers.

    RecRuiting paRtneRs

    6 Mayors o ce works with partners to track and report the initia-tives impact. Required metrics include:a. Total number of audits conductedb. Total number of homes retro tted, including the number of

    homes retro tted by category:i. Insulation retro ts (e.g., attic or basement insulation)ii. HVAC retro ts (e.g., adjustable thermostats, tape and

    mastic for HVAC ducts)iii. Window and door retro ts (e.g., weather stripping,

    caulking)iv. Plumbing and irrigation (e.g., sink faucet aerators,

    dual- ush toilet levers)v. Lighting retro ts (e.g., compact uorescent lights)

    c. Percent decrease in average electricity/gas/water used permonth for each home renovated

    d. Percent decrease in average electricity/gas/water costs permonth by household





  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

    Once households within the targeted areas have been identi ed as candidates for thiinitiative, the mayors o ce or its partners will need to design and execute a communicatiostrategy (e.g., door-to-door canvassing, newspaper ads) to sign them up. If a homeowne

    expresses interest in participating, a partner sta member should meet with him or her andassess the dwelling to ensure that the home is appropriate for the program. For exampledoes the house look to be structurally sound? Does the house have pre-existing structurdamage that might reduce the e ectiveness of the energy e cient improvements (e.g.such as a hole in the roof )? Is there any indication of mold/asbestos that could endangevolunteers? e homeowner should also be willing to share current and future energyand water bills so that the energy saving metrics for this initiative can be tracked. esebills may also be accessed through the local utility provider if waived for viewing bthe homeowner. Once initial required documents (i.e., safety waiver, energy bills) ar

    submitted, the partner sta member will schedule a date for a home energy audit.

    ere are several key steps the mayors o ce and its partners should follow to help volunteerassess and retro t the targeted homes.

    1. Determine the activities that volunteers will do versus those that will be completed bsta from partner organizations (with partner sta assuming roles that require speciskills or training). For example, a potential allocation of activities could be:a. Door-to-door canvassing to gauge homeowner interest: Volunteersb. Initial meeting/safety screening: Partner sta c. Energy audit: Initially partner sta , though volunteers could be deployed after

    completing an extensive training program, often o ered at community collegespower providers, or other institutions

    d. Training of volunteers: Partner sta or trained volunteerse. Home renovations: Volunteers under guidance of partner sta

    c onducting outReach and identifying homes foR Renovation

    a ssessing and RetRofitting homes


    2. Mayors o ce hosts an initial planning meeting with its partners in order to: Develop goals regarding breadth and depth of reach (i.e., number of homes, total

    energy impact per home); Establish criteria for prioritizing potential households (e.g., income level, age of

    homes, whether the homes have been damaged) and/or special populations (e.g.,

    elderly, veterans); Assign roles to various partners to insure successful implementation of theinitiative; and

    Design the scope of work for volunteers.

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    I M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A

    2. Train volunteers in accordance with the activities theyll conduct.a. Renovations: Prior to deploying volunteers to conduct renovations, they must receiv

    training on safety procedures, an overview of the tasks included in their scope work, advice on appropriate attire, and instructions on how to interface with thhomeowner and how to use any necessary equipment.

    b. Energy audits: While its not necessary for volunteers to conduct energy audits iaddition to doing renovations, if volunteers will help with the audits, partners shoularrange for them to complete a training program at an accredited institution. Manycommunity colleges and energy power providers o er trainings that can providvolunteers with the fundamental knowledge they need both to evaluate how energis being used in a building and to identify where and how energy consumption cabe reduced.

    3. Determine and provide all equipment and supplies needed. is can include:a. Renovation supplies: energy e cient light bulbs, caulking, air lters, sink fauc

    aerators, attic insulation, dual- ush toilet levers, insulated water heater blanketinsulator for hot water pipes, adjustable thermostat, tape and mastic for HVAC ductscarbon monoxide detector, re detector

    b. Safety supplies: glasses, gloves, masks, attic suitsc. Volunteer/participant supplies: bottled water, lunch, snacks, event/sponsorship


    4. Dispatch a sta member from a partner organization, or a trained volunteer, to performenergy audits of screened households. e audits will note the homes age and squarfootage, and evaluate the condition of the homes walls, insulation, and internal anexternal doors and windows. e sta member or volunteer also will conduct a blowedoor test to identify where air may be entering the home thus revealing leaks, holes, agaps in need of repair (this is important because unidenti ed leaks in doors and windowas well as thin insulation, make it di cult to maintain a homes internal temperature ancontribute to increased energy bills). Based on the results of the audit, the sta membor volunteer will schedule a date for the retro t and develop a list of renovations fvolunteers to complete.

    5. Volunteers arrive on the date of the scheduled retro t and receive an overview frosta members on the work they will be doing. ey also receive a refresher on safetprocedures and sign a safety waiver from the lead partner organization. Volunteers thperform the renovations under the guidance of a partner sta member.

    6. Upon completion of the renovations, volunteers review all complete work with thhomeowner.

  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

    Sustainable Home Makeover is a compelling fundraising opportunity for mayorso ces to solicit support from utility companies, foundations and corporations with acommitment to conservation. Private support may be supplemented with state and federalgovernment grants geared toward energy e ciency programs. If seeking philanthropic orgovernmental grant funding, the mayors o ce or non-pro t partners may choose todevelop a short proposal that describes the opportunity for support and how the funds will be used. Elements would likely include:


    m easuRing impactCollecting data on the impact of each Sustainable Home Makeover project iscritical. e following metrics should be collected:

    a. Total number of audits conductedb. Total number of homes retro tted, including the number of homes

    retro tted category:i. Insulation retro ts (e.g., attic or basement insulation)ii. HVAC retro ts (e.g., adjustable thermostats, tape and mastic

    for HVAC ducts)iii. Window and door retro ts (e.g., weather stripping,

    caulking)iv. Plumbing and irrigation (e.g., sink faucet aerators, dual- ush

    toilet levers)v. Lighting retro ts (e.g., compact uorescent lights)

    c. Percent decrease in average electricity/gas/water used per month foreach home renovated

    d. Percent decrease in average electricity/gas/water costs per month by household

    f unding s ustainable h ome m akeoveR

    Description of Sustainable Home Makeover How this initiative will positively impact the city and the environment (e.g.,

    reductions in energy demand, potential reduction in electricity costs, reductionin greenhouse emissions and smog) Citys impact targets for the initiative and the metrics that will be collected to

    track progress e amount of funding requested, proposed breakdown of grants and how

    funds are to be used Information on Cities of Service (this is especially helpful for national

    organizations) Recognition plan for the donor (this could include logos on t-shirts, branding

    on the citys website, etc.)

  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    I M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A

    Recognizing and thanking volunteeRsere are numerous ways to recognize volunteer participants who contribute to makin

    Sustainable Home Makeover a success in your city. Consider sending volunteers a thayou card or letter with the details from the day a volunteer participated in a home makover (e.g., list of upgrades performed and reduction in home energy costs). Before aafter pictures of homes and a summary of overall energy savings from the initiative malso be included. Following up with participants with quarterly or semi-annual progrreports also is encouraged and helps volunteers understand how their e orts contributto the initiatives overall success.

    In some cases, private funders may not want to provide funding directly to city gov-ernments. If that happens, the mayors o ce should identify and appropriate non-pro t partner to receive the funds and coordinate disbursements.

    In Nashville, the Mayors o ce is partnering with HandsOn Nashville to improve th

    energy e ciency of low-income homes using HandsOn Nashvilles Home Energy Saings Program. is program supports the Mayors e orts to reduce the citys greenhougas emissions by 20% by 2020 and actively engage citizens to help with this goal. Otprogram partners currently include Tennessee State University, Nashville Electric Svice, Conservation Services Group, and local businesses. e programs goal is for vunteers, working with HandsOn Nashvilles guidance, to procure, deliver, and instaapproximately $1,000 worth of energy e ciency-enhancing renovations in residencesa low-income city neighborhood with a goal of achieving a 30% energy reductioneach home.





  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y


    (s ustainable h ome m akeoveR in action cont d )Renovations include installing attic and basement insulation, weather stripping doorsand windows, installing low- ow showerheads and sink aerators, and other upgradesto make the homes more e cient and comfortable during weather extremes. By con-centrating its e orts within a con ned geographic footprint, the program maximizesemissions impact and achieves service delivery e ciency. As of July 2011less than ayear into implementationenergy e cient upgrades had been incorporated into the re-building of 60 homes damaged by the spring 2010 oods, leading to an overall energy reduction of more than 30% per home.

    Below are some key lessons learned from the rst year of implementation: Select a lead partner with su cient capacity to oversee the program in

    conjunction with the mayors o ce, and recruit a strong consortium to

    execute it. Concentrate renovations on a targeted area of households, but use the programas a platform to stimulate demand for home retro ts across all populations by communicating successes broadly.

    Consider leveraging the program to stimulate green job growth and enhance workforce development e orts in this area (Nashville is currently working tomake this happen in the city).

    Assess whether state or federal programs might provide additional nancialincentives for homeowners who participate in retro t programs or complete

    energy upgrades on their homes (e.g., tax credits for installing energy e cient windows or tankless water heaters).

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    I M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A

    Website for the Home Energy Savings (HES) Program in Nashville,Tennessee, implemented by HandsOn Nashville as part of Mayor KarlDeans high-impact service plan Impact Nashville, which includes alist of enovation and saftey supplies:

    Website for the Clinton Foundations Home Energy Assistance Loan(HEAL) Program in Arkansas:

    Website for grant opportunities through the U.S. Department of Energys Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program:

    Website for US Department of Energys Energy Savers page that linkshomeowners to resources to help them use less energy and lower theircarbon footprint:


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    M PA C T A R E A : S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y


    Wed like to thank the following city and organization for their support: City of Nashville, Tennesseefor their long lasting support in

    the development of this blueprint. HandsOn Nashville for their technical expertise and support.


  • 8/3/2019 Sustainable Home Makeover


    Service as a Strategy 2 Canal Park Cambridge, Massachusetts 02141617-252-2703

    Service as a Strategy is a partnership between ServiceNation and Cities of

    Service, which equips mayors with high-impact service strategies to addresspressing local challenges, funded with generous support from BloombergPhilanthropies.