The ReEnergize Program is a collaborative effort between the cities of Omaha and Lincoln to build energy smart communities. The communities plan to complete energy evaluations on a total of 263 commercial and nonprofit buildings and make energy upgrades on 3,193 residences throughout the five stages of the program. Each stage will last approximately six months.
The five stages include:
- Stage 1: January 2011 – June 2011
- Stage 2: July 2011 – December 2011
- Stage 3: January 2012 – June 2012
- Stage 4: July 2012 – December 2012
- Stage 5: January 2013 – May 2013
The program will initially commence with Start Zones as the areas of focus in Omaha and Lincoln. These areas were selected based on 1950s city limits and on developed areas with a large percentage of 1940s and older building stock. Other factors included a mix of residential and commercial buildings, concentration of active neighborhood associations, and consistency with each City’s individual redevelopment areas.
Eligible residents receive incentives from the program to make energy-efficiency improvements that save energy and improve the comfort and value of their home. Our goal is to reduce the energy use of local homes by 25 percent using the most cost-effective measures. Typical energy upgrades that may be completed on a resident’s home include:
- Installing wall and attic insulation Sealing drafty leaks and conducting ductwork improvements
- Installing programmable thermostats and energy-efficient lighting upgrades
- Improving heating and air conditioning systems
- Servicing and/or replacing furnaces, air conditioners, and/or water heaters
- Replacing larger appliances with energy-efficient models
For the resident, the out-of-pocket contribution for the evaluation and upgrade of his/her home is $3,500; the ReEnergize Program will cover the rest of the upgrade expenses to achieve a minimum 15% energy savings, striving for 25%. More information on financial prequalification can be found in the Residential Energy Upgrade Service Agreement. Commercial and nonprofit building owners in the start zones are eligible for a comprehensive energy evaluation of current facilities, professional energy advising, and assistance in developing a Sustainability Action Plan.
The ReEnergize Program has developed pre-qualifications for use in awarding contracts to energy evaluators and energy upgrade contractors. These Standards for Workforce Qualifications are consistent with industry standards and workforce development criteria.
This program is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. The DOE has awarded over $500 million in federal funds to more than 40 states, local governments, and organizations to administer local programs targeting a variety of building types. Combined, these local programs are expected to improve the efficiency of more than 170,000 buildings through 2013 and save up to $65 million in energy costs annually.