Home Upgrade Program

Home Upgrade Program

Administrators of home energy upgrade programs are working to bring services to more homes across the country by minimizing management and operations costs and improving overall effectiveness. Programs are completing hundreds of thousands of upgrades annually with average savings of 20% for households. By improving the processes used to manage and track upgrades, review quality of work, and evaluate impacts, these programs can scale up to complete millions of upgrades annually. Partners will demonstrate best practices to minimize program costs while improving and expanding program savings. Key collaborators include developers of program management and home energy assessment software.

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Better Buildings programs host interactive webinars featuring a variety of topics exploring cost-effective ways to integrate energy savings into their daily building operations. 

Accelerators News

The latest Energy Department breaking news, announcements, and updates featuring Better Buildings Accelerators.

2018 Progress Report

More than 350 leading public and private sector organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge are saving 380 trillion Btus and an estimated $3.1 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings.

Featured Solutions

Since launching the Arizona HPwES program in March 2010, electric utility Arizona Public Service (APS) and Arizona’s HPwES Sponsor, FSL Home Energy Solutions, have focused on continuous improvements designed to elevate customer and contractor experience while boosting program costeffectiveness.
HPXML is an open data standard that is comprised of a data dictionary and a standard data transfer protocol (xml) that promotes the efficient exchange of information and data among residential energy efficiency programs, home performance contractors, and other information trading partners. 

Other Resources

Case Study

Since launching the Arizona HPwES program in March 2010, electric utility Arizona Public Service (APS) and Arizona’s HPwES Sponsor, FSL Home Energy Solutions, have focused on continuous improvements designed to elevate customer and contractor experience while boosting program costeffectiveness.


Program administrators are not the only ones with an interest in improving the management and operations of home upgrade programs. Stakeholders in the home performance industry are invested in better programs as well. See below for their letters of support.
The Home Performance Coalition is a national non-profit organization that promotes the market adoption of residential energy efficiency technologies and practices through stakeholder engagement, policy development, education, and research.  Efficiency First is a national association for the home performance industry that advocates for policies that accelerate the growth of the industry.
OptiMiser is a software development company that provides energy auditing software for residential and commercial buildings, and program administration software for home upgrade programs.

Fact Sheet

The Home Upgrade Program Accelerator aims to significantly reduce administrative program costs and increase overall program cost-effectiveness from May 2015 to  May 2018 and to share approaches and technical solutions with the greatest impact.


In 2017, the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a new Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® and Home Energy Check Up Program Implementation contractor. In the RFQ, DESEU required that the implementation contractor support a transition to an open modeling software platform that is HPXML compliant. 

Partnership Agreement

The Home Upgrade Program Accelerator is designed to help home energy upgrade programs bring services to more homes across the country by leveraging data management strategies that minimize costs while improving overall program effectiveness. These programs are currently completing hundreds of thousands of home upgrades annually with average savings of 20%. 

Additional Information

Data Standards Roadmap: Priorities and Actions for Driving Data Standardization in the Residential Energy Efficiency Industry
Home Performance Coalition , the HPXML Working Group, and the U.S. Department of Energy developed a roadmap to increase the value and use of HPXML among residential energy efficiency programs. Open data standards, like HPXML, are crucial for improving data quality and interoperability in the home performance industry. This webinar described the purpose of the roadmap, the value of data standardization, HPXML in the market today, challenges to adoption, and strategies to support HPXML adoption moving forward.  A recording of this webinar is available.

Assessing Costs & Results for Home Upgrade Programs: Follow the Money!
More than half of U.S. states have mandatory targets for using energy efficiency as an energy or environmental resource, and saving energy in the residential sector can contribute significantly to meeting these policy objectives. Both home energy upgrade program administrators and home improvement contractors that participate in these programs encounter challenges to achieving consistent growth in the market for home energy improvements at levels commensurate with state energy-saving goals. When administrators identify where to focus investments to get the most savings, these programs can contribute significantly to meeting energy policy objectives. A recording of this webinar is available.

The Status and Promise of Advanced M&V: An Overview of “M&V 2.0” Methods,Tools, and Applications
Advanced measurement and verification (M&V) of energy efficiency savings, often referred to  as M&V 2.0 or advanced M&V, is currently an object of much industry attention. This report provides background information and frame key discussion points related to advanced M&V; identifies the benefits, methods, and requirements of advanced M&V and outlines key technical issues for applying these methods; and presents an overview of the distinguishing elements of M&V 2.0 tools and of how the industry is addressing needs for tool testing, consistency, and standardization, and it identifies opportunities for collaboration.

0 to 60: Best Practices for Accelerating Program Performance Presentation
Home Upgrade Program Accelerator Partners, NYSERDA and APS, share how they improved program performance.  NYSERDA shares lessons learned from using Lean and a change management process, coupled with a continuous improvement mindset, to reduce processing times for upgrade projects and improve paperwork quality.  APS describes implementation of their Critical Details tool, building on the Standard Work Specifications for Home Energy Upgrades, to improve upgrade quality and the development of contractor scorecards and awards to provide feedback and recognition to contractors.

Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center
The Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center is a repository for proven strategies from successful residential energy efficiency programs across the country and new resources to accelerate market adoption of select advanced technologies.

Better Buildings Residential Network
The Better Buildings Residential Network (BBRN) connects energy efficiency programs and partners to share best practices and learn from one another to increase the number of homes that are energy efficient.

Standard Work Specifications for Home Energy Upgrades
Standard Work Specifications (SWS) are a major component of the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project and define the minimum requirements to ensure that the work performed during home energy upgrades is effective, durable, and safe. The SWS can be used as an industry guide for workers, training instructors, homeowners, and program administrators involved in the home performance industry.

Innovations in Processes to Accelerate Home Upgrade Programs Presentation
The Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program completed process improvements that improved contractor satisfaction and deceased quality assurance labor while achieving program goals and cost-effectiveness.  Build It Green is implementing software improvements to their utility program's online rebate applications portal to accelerate data processing.

Introduction to Home Energy Upgrade Program Accelerator Webinar (June 18th, 2015)
Watch this webinar to learn about the benefits, commitments, support, and promotional opportunities of joining. 

HPXML Implementation Guide
The HPXML Implementation Guide was developed to help program administrators and software developers integrate HPXML into their operations and products.

HPXML Toolbox

HPXML website

Home Performance Coalition blog post on HPXML




Arizona Public Service
Building Performance Institute
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
NeighborWorks of Western Vermont
Pearl National Certification



Arizona Public Service



Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

New York

Building Performance Institute




NeighborWorks of Western Vermont


Pearl National Certification