The newest program of AREI, RENEW is the retrofit of the built environment to a carbon neutral or net zero standard, moving toward the ultimate goal of carbon or net positive buildings. With approximately 120 million residential homes and 60 billion square feet of commercial real estate constituting the greatest national use of fossil energy, RENEW is designed to reduce energy use while increasing economic savings.

 “There is more money to be made in saving energy than in producing it.”
– Amory Lovins, AREDAY Alumni and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute 

RENEW creates awareness of climate change solutions through net zero retrofitting projects in critical areas of high energy consumption. From resort communities, like Snowmass Village, Colorado, to retrofits in urban areas such as Detroit, Chicago, and Denver, the goal of RENEW is to stimulate job creation in renewable and energy efficiency sectors, while creating measurably reduced energy use in each retrofit. Demonstration projects will include local, regional, and national educational outreach and awareness campaigns, policy initiatives based on a project overview, as well as a tandem effort of on-site job training with our educational program – The American Climate and Energy Literacy Initiative.

RENEW’s pilot project, began in Jan 2013, at the Goodwin residence, in Snowmass Village, CO. This home is typical of high energy use homes in the Aspen and Snowmass area, and represents a real energy consumption issue in the Roaring Fork Valley.  While this home is a year round residence, many like it are vacant for many months of the year, yet require heating and cooling even when unoccupied.  Through a coordinated effort with local energy contractors, trades, and renewable energy experts, our team redesigned the energy systems of this home, implemented air sealing and weatherization of the building shell, and added renewable energy after significant energy efficiency measures were taken. As a result of these improvements, this project is reaching its NET ZERO goal.

NET ZERO:  A building produces as much energy as it uses, bringing it to a carbon neutral operating level.

CARBON/NET POSITIVE:  A Building produces more clean energy that it uses, delivering clean energy back to the grid.

The further goals of RENEW are to recommend policy and initiatives on both local and regional levels that will support the overall vision of the RENEW program.

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