Analyzing Cost and Energy Saving from the HHIP Program

“The connection between health and dwelling is one of the most important that exists.” –Florence Nightingale

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As we enter the new year and get ready for winter, homeowners start to see their energy bills rise.  When we use more electricity and gas to heat our homes, it’s important to think about how to reduce our energy costs and our carbon footprint. GTECH has been running the Healthy Homes Incentive Program (HHIP) for a year and the results are worth sharing. To date our program has retrofitted 40 homes in Allegheny County, with measures such as increased insulation in walls and around rim joists, air sealing and even solar installation on two homes.

IMG_4468(1)HHIP is set up to encourage homeowners to retrofit their homes while maximizing energy efficiency, and creating healthier indoor living environments. If homeowners spend at least $5,000 on home energy upgrades, GTECH will contribute $2,500 to incentivize homeowners to make deeper investments in their homes. (For complete details and requirements of the program please visit the website.)

Homeowners have various reasons to participate in HHIP. Some are simply looking to reduce their energy costs, others want to improve indoor air quality, reduce carbon emissions or create a healthier home.

To date HHIP has leveraged $412,000 in local contract labor to work on the 40 completed homes. The average amount spent per household is $10,315  ($7,800 after GTECH’s incentive) and the average energy cost saved is $890 per year ($140 saved on electricity yearly, and $750 saved on gas yearly). All of this means that these energy retrofits will pay for themselves in just 8.5 years. The National Association of Home Builders recently reported that the typical single family home buyer stays in their home for 13 years. The homeowners who have completed HHIP use approximately 10,900 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. With the retrofits, each household saved an average of 1,077 kWh annually, or 27% of total energy usage.

Carbon emissions are another indicator of how efficient homes are. Data from our 40 participants show that on average 16.25 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) are being emitted yearly from each home. With the energy retrofits, each home saved an average of 3.8 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, totaling 150.9 tons over all 40 participating households.


Plugging data into the EPA’s emission calculator shows that saving 150.9 tons of CO2 is the equivalent of the carbon sequestration that 124 acres of forest provides annually.
EPA Greenhouse Emissions Calculator

HHIP is currently at capacity with homeowners; however if you are interested in the program or getting on the waiting list, fill out the online form or contact Ian Brown at, or 412-361-2099.

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