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.
Search by Topic
Showing results 1 - 43 of 43
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on communicating non-energy benefits that homeowners and building owners are most interested in. Speakers include Elevate Energy, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, and Skumatz Economic Research Associates, Inc.
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.
Each ResStock fact sheet presents the potential for residential energy and utility bill savings for the state. The top ten energy savings home improvements are highlighted.
This report summarizes research assessing national and regional residential behavior-based energy efficiency (BBEE) programs and activities to identify best practices. The report emphasizes that a basic foundation for behavior change is providing energy consumers with feedback on their energy consumption, with customer engagement strategies and tactics employed to get customers to take action and drive greater levels of energy savings.
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.
This report updates ACEEE's 2013 assessment of multifamily energy efficiency programs in US metropolitan areas with the most multifamily households. Using housing, policy, and utility-sector data from 2014 and 2015, this report documents how these programs have changed in the context of dynamic housing markets and statewide policy environments. The report also offers an analysis of the number, spending, offerings, and targeted participants of current programs and their potential for further expansion.
The report, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a survey of tens of thousands of businesses across the country, provides detailed breakdowns of clean energy jobs not available previously, and it was developed and released in connection with a major U.S. Department of Energy study of all energy jobs in America.
This report examines the history of pay-for-performance (P4P) energy efficiency approaches. As the report describes, there is a diverse spectrum of pay-for-performance programs but, at the most basic level, these programs track and reward energy savings as they occur, usually by examining data from a building's energy meters -- as opposed to the more common approach of estimating savings in advance of installation and offering upfront rebates or incentives in a lump-sum payment. The report finds that P4P has some important opportunities for increasing energy savings, but also key limitations that will need to be better understood through piloting and experimentation.
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.
This report examines how State Energy Offices and state-level partners are supporting growth and uptake of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing around the country. The report offers examples, insights, and strategies for State Energy Offices, green banks, state financing agencies, and other public and private entities to catalyze, accelerate, organize, and expand C-PACE markets.
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.
Energy efficiency collaboratives vary greatly and are typically designed for a specific jurisdiction, making them hard to compare side by side. This guide seeks to highlight a few common elements and draw conclusions on the overall effectiveness of specific characteristics of collaboratives. This guide defines and examines four different types of collaboratives in terms of their origin, scope, decision-making method, membership, duration, available resources, and how they interact with and influence their respective commissions.
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 Guide to Action provides in-depth information about over a dozen policies and programs that states are using to meet their energy, environmental, and economic objectives with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and combined heat and power. Each policy description is based on states’ experiences in designing and implementing policies, as documented in existing literature and shared through peer-exchange opportunities provided to states by EPA’s State Climate and Energy Program.
This guide was developed for local climate and clean energy (i.e., energy efficiency, renewable energy, and combined heat and power) program implementers to help create or transition to program designs that are viable over the long term. The guide draws on the experience and examples of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities as they developed innovative models for programs that could be financially viable over the long term and replicated in other communities.
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 describes the effects of utility spending on efficiency programs, how those effects could constitute barriers to investment in energy efficiency, and how policy mechanisms can reduce these barriers.
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 provides guidance on determining the efficiency potential in a utility footprint, state, or region; evaluating efficiency as a supply-side resource; and developing detailed efficiency program plans.
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 describes how utility planning processes that allow demand-side resources to compete with supply-side resources can promote cost-effective energy efficiency.
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.
Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator (BBEDA) partners Salt Lake City, the investor-owned electric utility Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), and the investor-owned natural gas utility Questar worked with community stakeholders throughout 2014 and 2015 to design and implement a data access solution. As a result, RMP created a data access portal for its customers in 2016, and Questar is working toward a data access solution that will be operational by 2017.