Terms & Definitions

Need help figuring out the terminology most frequently used in the home performance industry? Click here for a helpful website on key terms related to home energy efficiency from the NC Cooperative Extension’s Home Energy Management Program. A Absolute Energy Saving Target –  This target is set based on the energy consumption after the renovation and this needs to be below a certain threshold (i.e. reduction in energy consumed) Air Changes –  Expression of the amount of air movement or air leakage into or out of a building in terms of the number of building volumes or room volumes exchanged Air Conditioning System –  Assembly of equipment for air treatment to simultaneously control its temperature, humidity, cleanliness, and distribution to meet the requirements of a conditioned space Air duct –  A hollow conduit or tube (square or round) that circulates air from a forced-air heating and/or cooling system to a room (supply duct) or returns air back to the main system from a room (return duct) Air Infiltration –  the uncontrolled inward airflow through openings in the building envelope caused by the pressure effects of wind, the effect of differences in indoor and outdoor air density, or both (cfm) [m[sup]3[/sup]/s] Air Leakage –  Uncontrolled or unwanted infiltration or exfiltration of air into or out of a building Audit (energy audit) –  an assessment of a home’s energy use B Barriers –  An obstacle or impedement to the implementation of energy efficiency policies or energy efficiency into your home or lifestyle Benchmarking –  Process of building energy performance measurement, consisting of assessing a building’s pattern of energy consumption (with an energy rating) then...

Industry Research

Industry Research:  Provided below are links to reports, studies and other resources on the benefits, opportunities and more for home energy efficiency. 31% of U.S. energy usage comes from homes and buildings, mostly from HVAC. NC is one of the fastest growing markets for clean energy solutions (NCSEA). NC’s clean energy industry has grown by ~25 percent since 2012, reaching $4.8 billion in gross revenues in 2014, up $1.2 billion from 2013 (NCSEA). In 2011, energy efficient homes in NC sold for a $5,500 premium and 90 days sooner than standard homes (NCEEA). In 2013, 16,360 NC homes (32%) were certified for energy efficiency (NCEEA). Due to EE, homes built after 1999 consume only 2% more energy on average than homes built prior, even though they are 30% larger on average 86% of homeowners believe the world will be better off because of energy efficiency 82% believe energy efficiency can help America’s energy independence 72% believe energy efficiency can reduce emissions and delay climate change.* On top of that, 75% of homeowners expect big impact from energy efficient products and services in as little as five years.  YET, only 46% invested in an energy efficiency measure last year, and only 18% participated in a utility-sponsored energy efficiency...

Home Energy in US

Home Energy in US:  Here you will find general information on the impact of home energy efficiency in the US. Energy efficiency trends in residential buildings. Why US homes built after 1999 are using just 2% more energy on average than homes built prior despite being 30% larger on average. Why energy efficiency is being used as the first and best option in reducing carbon emissions across the country. How and why consumer preference for energy efficient homes is increasing every...

Home Energy in NC

Home Energy in NC:  Here you will find helpful information on the impact of home energy efficiency in North Carolina. What’s the size of NC’s home and building energy efficiency industry? $3B+ in 2014 industry revenue = Largest sector of NC’s clean energy economy. 1,200 companies across the state serving NC residents, businesses and institutions. 15,000 full-time workers in our local communities. How NC measures up compared to other states: 3rd most home energy ratings (HERS Scores) in the country (RESNET). 30th in the country for energy efficiency (ACEEE). 2nd most solar installations in the country (SEIA). 7th most LEED certified buildings in the country (USGBC). 2014 ENERGY STAR  Certified New Homes Market Share NC had the third-most new ENERGY STAR new homes in 2014 6,337 total ENERGY STAR homes in NC 18.28 percent market penetration Visit the ENERGY STAR website for a full interactive map.   NC is one of the fastest growing markets for clean energy solutions (NCSEA). NC’s clean energy industry has grown by ~25 percent since 2012, reaching $4.8 billion in gross revenues in 2014, up $1.2 billion from 2013 (NCSEA). In 2011, energy efficient homes in NC sold for a $5,500 premium and 90 days sooner than standard homes (NCEEA). In 2013, 16,360 NC homes (32%) were certified for energy efficiency (NCEEA). The positive impact of energy efficient home certifications in NC.Why your NC electric bill is increasing due to costly electricity generation from fossil fuels. How economics, the environment and employees play a role in clean energy in NC. Click here for publications written by the North Carolina Energy Efficiency...

State & Federal Policies

North Carolina Energy Efficiency Policies North Carolina relies on several key policies that support home energy efficiency and offer incentives for residents, businesses, and utilities to participate.  Click here for a summary of NC EE policies from ACEEE. Key policies include: Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS): Requires NC’s utilities to generate increasing percentages of electricity from renewable and energy efficiency resources over time (e.g. 3% in 2012 to 12.5% in 2021 for Duke Energy). This policy allows limited market competition and increased customer choice within North Carolina’s highly-regulated, monopoly-controlled electricity market. Learn more about REPS here. Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (REITC): This tax credit provides state incentives to consumers and businesses seeking to purchase renewable and clean energy products and services of 21 different types including geothermal heating and air. Over $2.6B has been directly invested in renewable energy projects between 2007 and 2014 in all 100 counties of North Carolina, leading to an economic impact of over $4.7B. Learn more about REITC here. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: This innovative financing mechanism allows residents and businesses to more easily afford renewable and energy efficiency projects for their homes and buildings by adding the “loan” amount on their property tax bill, which can be transferred to future home or building owners. Learn more about PACE Financing here. Residential and Commercial Building Energy Conservation Codes: NC residents and businesses will save $490M in energy costs by 2030 through energy efficiency measures mandated in the state’s residential and commercial building energy conservation codes. Learn more about NC’s building and energy codes from these resources: What policy...

Building & Energy Codes

Building and energy conservation codes are in place to provide minimum standards and requirements for energy efficiency in new and existing homes across North Carolina.  These codes protect residents from high energy costs and offer other benefits including health, safety, comfort and more. New Homes in NC New homes in North Carolina must be built to the state approved Building Code and Energy Conservation Code.  NC’s Energy Conservation Code is currently set at the 2009 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) plus added amendments chosen by North Carolina. Click here to access information on NC’s Building Code. Click here to access information on NC’s Energy Conservation Code. Existing Homes in NC Both building and energy codes are managed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Office of State Fire Marshal, which includes the North Carolina Building Code Council. Know your rights when it comes to minimum code requirements for energy efficiency:  Click here for a helpful guide that will help you know your rights when building a new home or remodeling an existing home. Click here for a fact sheet from the EPA on the benefits of building and energy codes. Click here to view “A Consumer Guide to Minimum Standards for Energy...