U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Resource Library

Lessons Learned and the Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center
Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2016
Presentation, Media, Transcript

Take you on a tour of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center content and functionality and explore how you can use the Solution Center to help design, implement, and evaluate residential energy efficiency programs. Program examples focus on contractor engagement and workforce development. Learn how to support and partner with the workforce who will deliver your program’s energy efficiency services by understanding their capacity, recruiting contractor partners, enabling technical training and business development support, and refining program processes over time.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2016

This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Autumn 2016.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2016

This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Fall 2015.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2016

This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held in Winter 2016.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2016

This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buidlings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Spring 2016.

Author: National Housing & Rehabilitation Association
Publication Date: 2016

National Housing & Rehabilitation Association has collected a number of energy efficiency factsheets and resources on their Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Initiative Library.

Author: Rocky Mountain Institute; Building Performance Institute
Publication Date: 2016

This report, informed by leading research and real-world examples, highlights practical online and in-person tactics that contractors can use to promote social interaction and social comparison among homeowners to make energy upgrades a "must-have" in U.S. homes.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2015

The Better Building Residential Program Implementation Plan Template will help you develop a strategy for planning, operating, and evaluating a successful residential energy efficiency program. The template includes sections for all six program components (i.e., Market Position & Business Model, Program Design & Customer Experience, Evaluation & Data Collection, Marketing & Outreach, Financing, and Contractor Engagement & Workforce Development).

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2015

The Better Building Residential Program Implementation Plan Template will help you develop a strategy for planning, operating, and evaluating a successful residential energy efficiency program. The template includes sections for all six program components (i.e., Market Position & Business Model, Program Design & Customer Experience, Evaluation & Data Collection, Marketing & Outreach, Financing, and Contractor Engagement & Workforce Development).

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2015

The goal of the Building Science Translator is to begin this process by providing a new glossary of ‘Power Words’ that can be used across the industry to consistently reinforce the value of high-performance homes. This includes applying this new language consistently to all consumer-facing materials used by government programs and industry alike.

Author: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Publication Date: 2015

Among the many benefits ascribed to energy efficiency is the fact that it can help create jobs. Although this is often used to motivate investments in efficiency programs, verifying job creation benefits is more complicated than it might seem at first. This paper identifies some of the issues that contribute to a lack of consistency in attempts to verify efficiency-related job creation. It then proposes an analytically rigorous and tractable framework for program evaluators to use in future assessments.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2014

This document summarizes top takeaways shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members on Peer Exchange Calls, from tips to collaborating with utilities to cost-effective rebate models.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2014

This Better Buildings Residential Network Partnerships Toolkit includes templates, tools, guides, and examples to help energy efficiency organizations engage in partnerships that leverage resources and strengthen their programs.

Author: Energize Phoenix
Publication Date: 2014

This summary report provides scientific results, lessons learned, and recommendations for driving energy efficiency in existing buildings on an urban scale. It includes program marketing lesson learned, such as: personal outreach and call to action events are critical marketing opportunities.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program Webinar Series: #3 Residential Energy Efficiency Deep Dive, Part One
Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2014
Presentation, Media, Transcript

This webinar is the third (in a series of six) hosted by USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) and focusing on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). The first in a two-part series, this webinar shares best practices from the more than 40 competitively selected state and local governments who participated in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, including market position and business model, program design and customer experience, evaluation and data collection, marketing and outreach, financing, and contractor engagement and workforce development.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program Webinar Series: #4 Residential Energy Efficiency Deep Dive, Part Two
Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2014
Presentation, Media, Transcript

This webinar is the fourth (in a series of six) hosted by USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) and focusing on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). The second in a two-part series, this webinar shares best practices from the more than 40 competitively selected state and local governments who participated in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. This webinar focuses on data collection and continuous improvement, partnering with financial institutions, community-based outreach, and quality assurance of contractor work. It also features a case study from Jackson Electric Member Corporation about their audit tools, rebates and loans, tracking and reporting, and marketing and advertising strategies.

Author: Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
Publication Date: 2014

SEEA created this document to inform the planning, design and delivery of early-stage energy efficiency programs in the Southeast. This document captures general concepts essential to the successful development and implementation of robust program portfolios, as well as lessons learned from prior experience on the regional and national levels.

Author: RePower Bainbridge; Conservation Services Group; U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2014

This guide is designed to serve as a "how-to" reference for island communities (or small, similarly sized, more isolated communities) that want to develop and implement a residential energy-efficiency and conservation program. The purpose of this guide is to help communities chart a course for successful program development based on the lessons learned during implementation and operation of RePower Bainbridge, an energy-efficiency program on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Author: Danielle Sass Byrnett, U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2014

This presentation provides an overview of the results and lessons learned from 41 community partners that participated in the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. It also provides an overview of the Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center.

Author: Mary Templeton, Michigan Saves; George Clark, Energy Efficiency Contractor
Publication Date: 2014

Overview of Michigan Saves' employer outreach initiative to drive uptake of home energy upgrades.

Author: Cynthia Adams, Local Energy Alliance Program; Larry Earegood, Consumers Energy (MI); John Schott, NYSERDA; Gavin Hastings, Arizona Public Service; Emily Salzberg, Washington State University Energy; Adam Buick, Community Power Works (WA); Bob Knight, BKi
Publication Date: 2014

Quick summaries of strategies various programs have used to improve the efficiency of delivering efficiency.

Author: Home Energy Magazine
Publication Date: 2013

This article provides 10 tips home energy contractors can use to update their marketing outreach and improve their customer service.

Author: Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
Publication Date: 2013

This report demonstrates the results achieved to date by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance. It highlights the experiences of Consortium programs, their successes driving further investments in energy efficiency improvements, and the challenges that hindered their progress. It also details the infrastructure, resources, and opportunities that support the deployment of energy efficiency programming, and the approaches that the Consortium has found best suited to the region.

Author: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Publication Date: 2013

Links to case studies of residential projects and contractors under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)'s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.

Author: Small Town Energy Program
Publication Date: 2013

The Small Town Energy Program (STEP) toolkit gives a complete overview of STEP from planning to implementation. It also includes access to a wide variety of materials developed by the program, including: local asset materials, partner materials, personnel materials, program administrative materials, outreach materials, and surveys. STEP has posted these toolkit documents with the hope that it will assist other small towns and communities in building and running more energy efficiency programs.

Author: Kellie Stickney, SustainableWorks
Publication Date: 2012

Presentation on the SustainableWorks non-profit general contractor model for supporting energy upgrades in Washington state and lessons learned for implementing a whole house approach.

Author: Climate Solutions
Publication Date: 2012

This report profiles the early results of a diverse range of small- to medium-sized American cities with different economic and energy profiles that are pioneering the clean energy economy. Many communities used federal grants to jumpstart long-term strategies to test and refine various clean energy and energy efficiency solutions. Others developed innovative financing strategies in the absence of grant money. These city-led efforts to catalyze local clean energy economic development are important to watch as federal grants sunset, especially in the absence of a comprehensive national energy or climate policy.

Author: Washington State University Energy Program
Publication Date: 2012

This mid-program evaluation includes extensive analysis of program sectors, including results of surveys of participants, and summarizes lessons learned to date.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2012

This case study explains how Efficiency Maine provided contractor sales training to boost upgrade conversions.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

This sample phone survey template for program drop-outs, created by the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, was designed for programs to find out why applicants that applied to participate in a program ultimately dropped out.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

This sample phone survey template, created by the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, was designed for programs to use with applicants who have been screened out from participating in a program.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

This sample email survey template, created by the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, was designed for programs to develop their own survey of successful program participants in order to assess customer experience.

Author: ENERGY STAR
Publication Date: 2011

This document provides a tutorial of MY ENERGY STAR Account (MESA).  MESA is a Web portal that houses program marks for ENERGY STAR Sponsors and contractors as well as various marketing pieces.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

This document provides a menu of initial questions for a program administrator or implementer to build on and use in developing a real-time evaluation survey to collect qualitative data from program participants.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

This case study discusses strategies that Austin Energy, a municipally owned utility, used to collaborate closely with building contractors to launch a new Best Offer Ever promotion quickly and effectively.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

This case study discusses the strategies Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit's) used to actively engage contractors to make the program successful (e.g., balancing contractors' work priorities, enforcing quality standards).

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

Building on its understanding of homeowners in Rutland County, Vermont, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont (NWWVT) enlisted respected local citizens and organizations to spread the word about home energy efficiency upgrade opportunities, an effort that helped drive demand for nearly 200 home upgrades in just six months

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2010

Flowcharts showing the key program elements (financing; workforce development; marketing and outreach; and data, evaluation; and reporting).

Author: Community Power Works
Publication Date: 2010

This planning document from Community Power Works of Seattle, Washington, includes flow charts and tables designed to help guide both the initial launch of the program, which includes setting goals, and its ongoing development.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2010

This video provides an overview of what's involved in home energy assessments

Author: Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA International
Publication Date: 2010

This article discusses valuing high performance houses in the appraisal process.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy

These case studies highlight examples of participating contractors who have employed Home Performance with ENERGY STAR to help homeowners improve their home's comfort and lower their utility bills.