Occupant Health Benefits of Residential Energy Efficiency (E4TheFuture)

Project Funder: E4TheFuture

Project Partners: Tohn Environmental Strategies, the National Center for Healthy Housing, and Three3.

Project Contact: Jonathan Wilson, jwilson@nchh.org, 443.539.4162; or info@e4thefuture.org.

This report summarizes the existing research in an accessible format, provides examples of how energy programs have monetized health co-benefits, and highlights examples of innovative programs linking energy and health-focused repairs to help further such collaboration.

The report can help health, housing, and energy programs as they explore opportunities to innovate and more fully value and secure health co-benefits in program design, work protocols, and cost-effectiveness practices.

Key findings include:

  • Occupants can experience fewer asthma symptoms and respiratory-related emergency department visits after energy efficiency (EE).
  • Occupants report better physical and mental health after energy efficiency.
  • Programs delivering energy efficiency with added home repairs and client education can produce more significant improvements in asthma symptoms and indoor environmental conditions.
  • Whole-house ventilation strategies using heat or energy recovery ventilators (HRVs or ERVs) can reduce asthma and respiratory symptoms in children with pre-existing risks. Such strategies are increasingly being considered in energy efficiency programs.

Resources:
Occupant Health Benefits of Residential Energy Efficiency. [pdf; E4TheFuture]

Additional Reading:
New U.S. DOE report: Health and Home Upgrades. ASHRAE Journal
Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home – A Factsheet for Homeowners
Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home – A Guide for Stakeholders