You’ve Won a New Home… Sort of: Six Years of Home Energy Makeover Contests
The Home Energy Makeover contest is not about the winners—it’s all about showing the homeowners who don’t win what can be done to lower energy bills.
The program started in Montrose, Colo., and has spread across the country. This spring, Sacramento Municipal Utility District will hold its first contest. In Atlanta, Ga., a contest is being funded with Recovery dollars. In November, a contest in Pennsylvania will show what can be done to improve the performance of a house less than 2 years old.
Pick a typical home and family so that other consumers can relate. The makeover is based on building science, so the recommendations are not random. Expect to take about six to eight months to plan, recruit sponsors, promote the contest and screen entrants. Allow another three to four months to make improvements and publicize results—educating consumers is an ongoing task before, during and after the contest.
At the beginning of the contest, the website should answer the question, “How do I enter?” Then, the contest site needs to evolve to answer “How do I do that in my home?” Post the case studies of completed projects, along with links to drive the visitors to the contractors who worked on them.
The costs of mounting a Home Energy Makeover contest are fixed around administration, technical oversight and promotion. The variable costs are determined by the number of makeover winners, the value of homes and the cost of processing paper entries.