Posts filed under ‘Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program (NERP)’

Celebrate Earth Day 2014

Celebrate Earth Day 2014 by hosting your own Hands On Workshop with Clean Energy Durham this April.  Here’s how easy it is:

  1. Pick a date in April to host your workshop.
  2. Contact Clean Energy Durham and reserve your Elite Pete® for that day.
  3. Invite your neighbors and friends over to your house for a workshop.
  4. Have a great time with your neighbors and friends learning about easy, affordable (some are even free!) ways to save energy around your house.

It’s just that easy!  During the workshop, you and your neighbors will learn easy-to-do activities  as well as find out how simple changes in behavior can save you lots of energy and money in your home.  Everyone there will learn and do at least three energy-saving activities that they can then repeat in their own home. 

Read our other blogs posts or check out our website to get an idea of what happens in our Hands On Workshops.  To schedule your own workshop, contact Ann at 919-323-3244 or

April 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Durham Resident Writes Opinion Piece on Durham’s Home Energy Savings Program

Durham resident and avid urban farmer Frank Hyman recently wrote an opinion piece for The Durham News highlighting the value of the Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) (formerly known as Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program or NERP).  HESP provided subsidized energy upgrades for homeowners in Durham with the goal of improving energy efficiency of homes by more than 20%.  Clean Energy Durham was involved in organizing the outreach and workshops to educate neighbors on the value of this program and additional easy no-cost and low-cost ways to save household energy and money.

November 28, 2012 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

HESP Final Opportunities—Hurry!

Durham’s Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) is about to finish up.  There are still a few open spots, so hurry up and get your application in!

Expanded Criteria

  1. Homes can be 2-story
  2. Homes can be almost any shape and configuration (no more requirement to be a “box” shape)
  3. Homes up to 2,300 square feet are allowed

Participating homes will save an estimated 20% of their home energy use. Participants pay $400 and HESP will pay up to an additional $1,600 per house.
The work done on qualifying homes includes the following:

Call (919) 560-7999 or email for questions or to apply over the phone.  Apply quickly and easily online.

June 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Value of Energy Efficient Homes

The North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance, in partnership with the NC Energy Office, recently completed a study investigating the market advantages of Energy Star homes in a five-county region around Durham.  They compared a random sample of new Energy Star homes built in 2010 against homes with no building certifications that were appraised as similar by a third-party appraisal company.  The study found that Energy Star homes sold for an average of $5,566 more overall, and at a rate of $2.99 per square foot more.  They also sold almost three months quicker on average.  Read the full study.

This illustrates the market value of energy-saving home features.  The City of Durham still has a few openings in its Home Energy Savings Program providing up to $2,000 for a home energy upgrade for qualifying homes at a cost of only $400!

May 29, 2012 at 8:08 am Leave a comment

Meet Duane Smith

Duane Smith insulates homes.  Or, as he puts it, he helps people keep their same comfort level while lowering their heating and cooling bills.  City dwellers are often spurred to think sustainably because nature is already in short supply around them.  For Smith, a native of Louisburg, North Carolina, the motivating force was the opposite. Close contact with nature growing up shaped his views about the importance of conservation.  “Things keep changing and changing,” he says. “But if things change too much, we will adversely affect the environment.”

Smith Insulation is a family business, making it sustainable in another way.  Duane’s father, Tommy, started the business when he was 18 years old.  At the time, homes were intentionally built a little leaky.  A little air flow between the interior and exterior of the home was considered necessary for comfort.  There were also no code requirements for insulation, so few homeowners bothered with the extra expense and complication.  Today’s insulating technology has evolved by leaps and bounds.  Homeowners have a range of options to choose from, and air sealing stops uncontrolled leaks, those energy holes once considered a normal and necessary part of home construction.  “A home has to be treated like a complete system,” Smith says.  To attract business, Smith Insulation is constantly researching the latest technologies—insulation bats, spray foams, and fi-foil to name a few.

Smith Insulation was inspired to become a 2030 Society Founder because of its involvement in the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program.  This program has a goal of making 700 Durham homes more energy-efficient at a very low cost to the homeowners, with Clean Energy Durham training and organizing neighborhood volunteers to promote the program and do basic energy education, plus Smith Insulation and two other contractors providing the professional home improvement work under the supervision of the City of Durham.

2030 Society members have pledged multi-year support and recognize Clean Energy Durham as a community leader helping the city and county reach their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2030.

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March 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Volunteers: Why They Did It

More than 100 Neighborhood Energy Retrofit volunteers helped to make this neighbor-to-neighbor program successful.  Below are reasons given by some of the volunteers for their extraordinary volunteer service.

  • “I thought it was a good project, something to help me and my family.  It was community centered and everybody could learn about energy conservation and how to make their home more energy-efficient.”  Deborah Brame, Fisher Heights
  • “I thought it was a good opportunity to improve my home and to show others how to make improvements to their home as well.”  Yulanda Horton, Fisher Heights
  • “I volunteered because it seemed like a useful program and not too time consuming.  I also used to organize workshops in my job so it was something I knew how to do and it was an opportunity to meet people.”  Liz Sappenfield, Watts Hospital Hillandale
  • “I support Clean Energy Durham and I saw it as a way to give back to Clean Energy Durham and I like my neighborhood and it was a way to give back to my neighborhood as well.”  Mary Wible-Brennan, Tuscaloosa Lakewood\Lakewood
  • “It was interesting and I wanted to know more about the program.  There weren’t many people volunteering for the program and it didn’t seem all that hard.”  Erin Kennedy, Colonial Village
  • “I am an environmental educator by profession.  This program gave me a chance to promote environmentally responsible decisions in my own community. It involved direct action, really doing things.”  Beth Cranford, Tuscaloosa Lakewood/Lakewood


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February 3, 2012 at 8:22 am Leave a comment

Home Energy Savings Program

Check out the recent article in the Herald-Sun about Durham’s Home Energy Savings Program (HESP).  HESP is an energy-saving program that provides energy upgrades to existing homes that meet certain criteria at a fraction of the retail cost.  The program’s predecessor, NERP, has been wildly successful and has received much praise for helping residents save energy and money (check out what people are saying)!


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January 9, 2012 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

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