This webcast discusses the background for U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) consumer behavior study effort; the various utilities who are participating and what they each plan to include their respective studies; the quantitative results and qualitative lessons learned thus far from these studies; and the types of research will be undertaken by LBNL over the next several years.
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This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on the intersection between solar and residential energy efficiency. Speakers include Ecolibrium3 and Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP).
A car is only as efficient as its driver and its mechanic; so, too, for buildings. This presentation covers best practices and reviews case studies on engaging building residents and training facilities managers to keep buildings running efficiently and meeting Better Buildings Challenge goals.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on programs and outreach for faith-based organizations.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on the strategies and challenges of using holidays and other seasonal events to market energy assessments and upgrades.
Many states have adopted policies intended to overcome the barriers that limit the more efficient use of electricity. Yet because such efforts have not addressed the lack of consumer information and motivation to improve efficiency, many opportunities for energy efficiency remain untapped. To help address that problem, states, utilities, and other energy efficiency service providers have begun to develop new approaches to informing and motivating customers based on behavioral economics and psychology research. This report describes three broad strategies that states can use to engage consumers' participation in energy efficiency programs: provide direct consumer information and feedback on energy use, influence social norms; and match messages and messengers to target audiences. Recommendations for actions that governors can take within the context of each of those three strategies are provided.
As part of its Smart Grid Investment Grant, Minnesota Power conducted a Consumer Behavior Study Plan (CBSP) designed to answer research questions about residential customers' interest in, use of, and benefits derived from higher resolution feedback on electricity consumption (such as usage data for each individual day or hour). The study also explored the customer experience with the tools that provide this information. These questions are of interest because the advanced metering infrastructure associated with a smart grid enables higher resolution usage information for utility customers, which has the potential to better inform them about their energy consumption and help them refine their usage choices. The CBSP began in the spring of 2012 and was implemented in the Duluth/Hermantown area of Minnesota.
This literature review and benchmarking analysis focuses on electric and gas utility-implemented Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP) in Minnesota that used behavioral techniques. The objective of this effort was to provide the State of Minnesota with information necessary to make informed decisions about the design, evaluation, and claimed savings approaches for these programs.
This guide supports the development, maintenance, and use of accurate and reliable Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs). TRMs provide information to estimate the energy and demand savings of end-use energy efficiency measures associated with utility customer-funded efficiency programs. This guide describes existing TRMs in the United States and provides recommendations for TRM best practices. It also offers related background information on energy efficiency; evaluation, measurement, and verification; and TRM basics.
This guide identifies 12 best practices for policymakers, regulators, and program administrators to help building owners invest to increase the energy efficiency of multifamily affordable housing.
There are more than 17 million multifamily households nationwide, yet they remain a significant and mostly untapped opportunity for energy efficiency gains. Many cities and states that have embraced energy retrofitting as a job creator and boon to both the environment and economy have yet to address potential savings in multifamily properties, primarily because of obstacles not faced by single family and commercial properties. This paper discusses two barriers -- a lack of information and financing -- that stand in the way of multifamily energy retrofits.
Energy burden is the percentage of household income spent on home energy bills. In this report, ACEEE, along with the Energy Efficiency for All coalition, measures the energy burden of households in 48 of the largest American cities. The report finds that low-income, African-American, Latino, low-income multifamily, and renter households all spend a greater proportion of their income on utilities than the average family. The report also identifies energy efficiency as an underutilized strategy that can help reduce high energy burdens by as much as 30%. Given this potential, the report goes on to describe policies and programs to ramp up energy efficiency investments in low-income and underserved communities.
This guide for states highlights energy efficiency as a least-cost strategy to meet air pollution reduction and other policy objectives, including energy affordability and reliability. It presents established policy and program “pathways” to advance demand-side energy efficiency.
The NorthernSTAR and U.S. Department of Energy Building America Program partnership investigated a new model to deploy building science-guided performance solutions to homeowners. This research explored three aspects to market delivery:
1. Understand the homeowner's motivations regarding investing in building science-based performance upgrades.
2. Determine a rapidly scalable approach to engage large numbers of homeowners directly through existing customer networks.
3. Access a business model that will manage all aspects of the contractor-homeowner performance professional interface to ensure good upgrade decisions throughout time.
Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design.
The multifamily sector can be hard to reach when it comes to energy efficiency programs. Besides being diverse and complex, the sector presents a unique set of challenges to efficiency investments. The result is that multifamily customers are often underserved by energy efficiency programs. Drawing on data requests and interviews with program administrators, this report summarizes the challenges to program participation and identifies best practices that programs can use to reach and retain large numbers of multifamily participants.
This Guide is designed to help state and local policymakers to take full advantage of new policy developments by providing them with a comprehensive set of tools to support launching or accelerating residential energy efficiency programs. The Guide focuses on four categories of policies that have proven particularly effective in providing a framework within which residential energy efficiency programs can thrive: incentives and financing, making the value of energy efficiency visible in the real estate market, data access and standardization, and supporting utility system procurement of energy efficiency.
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.
The study was completed on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Commerce to characterize energy use in the state's multifamily sector and to identify untapped energy efficiency opportunities. Working with Franklin Energy, the field study gathered characteristic data for 120 representative buildings across the state as well as survey data of both building owners and tenants. Using this data as well as a utility billing analysis, the Energy Center of Wisconsin (now Seventhwave) developed an in-depth characterization for a hard-to-reach sector in Minnesota that had not been, up until this point, studied to this degree.
This report summarizes the scale and economic value of energy efficiency for reducing carbon emissions and discusses barriers to achieving the potential for cost-effective energy efficiency.
This report presents best practices for operating successful portfolio-level efficiency programs, including assessing efficiency potential, cost-effectiveness screening, and developing a portfolio of approaches.
This report helps policymakers understand how electric and natural gas utilities can achieve greater efficiency by establishing numeric energy savings targets and goals for energy efficiency programs.
This report identifies and discusses factors that should be considered in evaluating model choices for administering and implementing ratepayer funded energy efficiency programs.
This report provides information on how energy use data access can help state governments lead by example through benchmarking and disclosing results and implement benchmarking policies for the private sector.
This report provides information on how supporting access to building benchmarking data can help utilities increase efficiency and drive down energy demand.
This report provides an overview of residential customer information and behavior efficiency programs, and identifies key challenges to and solutions for increasing the penetration of these programs nationwide.
This report consists of a literature review and in-depth interviews with subject matter experts in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program area. The goal was to compare Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) HPwES Programs with peer-programs across the United States. The report also identifies key metrics and emerging trends regarding program design.
This multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy improvements as well as annual energy savings of 25 percent and cost savings of $25,000 at Orness Plaza in Mankato, MN. Planning for a substantial renovation of the aging and poorly performing 40 year old building began in 2009 with the goals of improving occupant health, building durability, and the energy and water efficiency of the buildings systems.
This multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy improvements as well as annual energy savings of 34 percent and cost savings of $23,000 at The Landing Apartments located in Chaska, MN. The Landing Apartments is an affordable, multifamily, senior housing development that is organized as its own nonprofit entity that Aeon controls.