Improving existing homes has long been a challenge, not only because of the variety of technical issues, but also because of the unique characteristics of each home and the need to convince homeowners one at a time to make needed improvements. Technologies exist to make those improvements. However, they are usually delivered in a piecemeal by individual trades, with rebates and incentives attached to single measures. Not only does this miss tremendous opportunities, it may actually create new problems as system interactions are ignored
Home Performance Contracting has emerged as a significant market opportunity to use building-science based approaches to improve existing homes. This approach greatly reduces energy use in existing homes, often by 50% or more of total energy use. It taps into a variety of market drivers, including comfort, durability, health and safety, along with energy efficiency. Homeowners are responding well to solutions to these solutions, and are spending considerable amounts to improve their homes. This panel will discuss why and how the home performance contracting approach works, emphasizing program design considerations and results from programs with up to 5 years experience. The results reported in this paper's case studies provide evidence of growing momentum in home performance contracting, achieving continuing growth and success in long-term energy savings.