Secretaries Donovan and Chu announce partnership to help working families weatherize their homesMortgagePress.comU.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, U.S. Department of Energy, Steven Chu
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary
Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven
Chu have announced a major partnership between HUD and DOE that
will streamline and better coordinate federal weatherization
efforts to make it much easier for families to weatherize their
homes and spur a new home energy efficiency industry that could
create tens of thousands of jobs.
Vice President Joe Biden, joined by Secretary Donovan and
Secretary Chu, praised the announcement during his remarks at a
meeting of the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families in
"Today in Philadelphia, I am proud to announce that the Energy
and HUD Secretaries are joining together in an historic partnership
to create thousands of jobs in the retro-fitting and weatherization
industry," said Vice President Biden. "This partnership is exactly
the type of leadership and ingenuity we need to get this economy
HUD and DOE have created a high level interagency task force to
coordinate home weatherization efforts under the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act, and to leverage those funds to build a home
energy efficiency industry in the U.S. that will: create or retain
tens of thousands of jobs, lower energy costs of vulnerable
low-income households, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"This partnership will help build an industry and save or create
thousands of jobs," said Secretary Donovan. "In addition to saving
and creating jobs, we have an opportunity to make our affordable
housing stock, as well as all housing, energy efficient with the
funds provided through the President's Recovery Plan. I look
forward to working with Secretary Chu in the very important
"This partnership will help put Americans back to work while
saving families hundreds of dollars on their energy bills,"
Secretary Chu said. "It reflects the Obama-Biden Administration's
commitment to moving swiftly to restore our economy and offer real
help to hardworking families who are struggling to make ends
HUD and DOE will allocate $16 billion in economic recovery funds
to retrofit existing homes. HUD's programs include $4.5 billion to
renovate and upgrade public and Native American housing (a good
portion of which will be invested in energy improvements) as well
as $250 million for energy retrofits of privately owned federally
assisted housing. DOE will invest $5 billion in weatherization
funds; $3.2 billion for a new Energy and Environment Block Grant
that cities and states can use to retrofit homes; $3.1 for the
State Energy Program; and other programs.
These economic recovery funds provide an historic opportunity
for the two agencies to work together to accelerate deployment of
energy efficient and green building technologies in millions of
homes - and at the same time to help create a highly qualified,
highly trained, and high-performing workforce.
The new interagency task force will:
Provide guidance to public and assisted housing. HUD and DOE
will work together to provide a common set of guidelines and
specifications for retrofitting public housing, as well as
privately owned, federally-subsidized rental properties. These
guidelines will assist the nation's 3,300 housing authorities,
housing 1.2 million families, on how to use about $4 billion in
Recovery Act funds to "go green" through sound energy efficient
Coordinate expenditure of economic recovery funds. HUD and DOE
will sign an Interagency Agreement within 30 days on coordinating
the use of weatherization assistance, energy efficiency and
conservation block grant and other recovery funds in local
communities. These include, for example, exploring ways to increase
the use of weatherization funds in public and assisted housing, and
coordinating the use of CDBG and EECBG funds in local communities.
The HUD/DOE collaboration will help catalyze a home
performance/energy retrofit industry in the U.S.
Develop common baseline for measuring energy efficiency
measures. HUD and DOE will lead a government wide effort to develop
a common baseline for measuring home energy use and the gains from
efficiency improvements. The goal of this effort is to provide the
information base and metrics necessary to help support a national
energy efficiency market for the housing sector. In order to assure
that homeowners get the savings that they have invested in, HUD and
DOE will work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
industry experts to develop and disseminate a tool that will
provide homeowners and consumers with an easy way to assess the
relative energy efficiency of their homes, and the effectiveness of
investments in energy efficiency.
Develop new home energy financing products. HUD and DOE will
also explore home energy disclosure and audit standards as well as
new financing tools that will enable national scale investment in
residential energy efficiency. These include greater use of
revolving funds, expanded energy mortgage financing tools through
the Federal Housing Administration, as well as exploring the use of
DOE loan guarantee authority in the residential sector.
HUD and DOE will report monthly to the Vice President on the
progress under this collaborative effort.
For more information, visit www.hud.gov.