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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.
This webcast provides an introduction to cost-effectiveness testing for energy efficiency programs, key drivers in the cost-effectiveness results, and cost effectiveness tool developed for the U.S. Department of Energy.
This webcast discusses the savings and cost-effectiveness of home energy reports programs.
This webinar is the fifth (in a series of six) hosted by USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) and focusing on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). This webinar focuses on financing energy improvements on utility bills and features case studies about Roanoke Electric Cooperative's Upgrade to Save program and North Arkansas Electric Cooperative. It also provides information for programs seeking on-bill financing project assistance.
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.
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.
This webinar is the first (in a series of six) hosted by USDA Rural Utility Service (RUS) and focusing on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). This webinar provides an overview of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program. It covers the requirements and benefits of the program and also discusses steps you can take to evaluate the cost effectiveness of energy program options.
This webcast provides information on why outreach is important for program success and how programs can promote their efforts.
Achieving energy savings goals and improving customer and contractor satisfaction while staying cost-effective makes managing home energy upgrade programs challenging. DOE's Home Upgrade Program Accelerator is working with program administrators to identify strategies that overcome challenges and achieve better results. The Arizona Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program completed process improvements that improved contractor satisfaction and deceased quality assurance labor. Build It Green implemented software improvements to their utility program's online rebate applications portal to accelerate data processing.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on innovative approaches to increase contractors' work quality through feedback reports and contractor ranking, decrease quality assurance costs through remote quality assurance, and improve contractor engagement. It features speakers from Consumers Energy, Enhabit, and DOE.
This presentation describes behavior-based energy efficiency programs and the results of the implementation of pilots from the Snohomish County PUD, Puget Sound Energy, and Clark Public Utilities. These program design features included home energy reports, web portals, and social media platforms.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on behavior change program design and design thinking to increase program reach. It features speakers from See Change Institute, Efficiency Vermont, and Navitas Partners, Inc.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on unique challenges for energy efficiency and weatherization programs serving lower income residents in single-family and multifamily housing. Speakers include American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Elevate Energy, and Energy Outreach Colorado.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on implementing process improvements using lean processes, an approach of continuous improvement, use of Standardized Workforce Specifications (SWS) to improve quality, and contractor feedback tools. It features speakers from DOE, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and Arizona Home Performance.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on types of financing used to support home energy upgrades, including Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans (WHEEL) and on-bill financing (OBF) through rural electric cooperatives. It featured speakers from the Energy Programs Consortium and The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how organizations can diversify and grow new revenue streams and types of financing approaches used to make resources stretch further and help homeowners finance upgrades. Speakers include Connecticut Green Bank, Sealed, and Craft3.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on getting multifamily property owners on board with energy efficiency upgrades.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on effective strategies to ensure that HVAC contractors do high-quality work and recommend the most appropriate systems for homeowners.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on approaches organizations can use for moving homeowners from HVAC or other individual improvements to whole home upgrades and encouraging homeowners to undertake upgrades over time.
This presentation summarizes the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency, and how they can be used to drive uptake of energy efficiency measures. State examples are included.
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency has collected information from its membership for each of the past four years on the behavior-based programs currently underway and how these programs are being evaluated. This presentation describes the annual data collection effort and highlight the key findings of this research to date. Results discussed will consider the social science knowledge most commonly incorporated into the programs captured, as well as methods used for program evaluation and overarching lessons learned from the program administrator community.
This peer exchange call summary focused on the background and features of the PowerSaver loan program.
This peer exchange call summary focused on moving from assessments to upgrades in multifamily buildings.
This peer exchange call summary focused on strategies and challenges of working with rental property owners and tenants on multifamily upgrades.
Presentation providing an overview of financing programs, a strategy for continuous improvement, tools for program management, a risk management strategy, and common risks associated with financing programs.
Home performance extensible markup language (HPXML) is a national Building Performance Institute Data Dictionary and Standard Transfer Protocol created to reduce transactional costs associated with exchanging information between market actors. This website provides resources to help stakeholders implement HPXML and stay updated on its development.
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.
This database provides comprehensive information on state, federal, local, and utility incentives and policies that are in place to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
A calculator that converts greenhouse gas emissions into everyday equivalencies. It can be used to help clearly communicate information about energy savings initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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.
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.
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.
Utilities and regulators increasingly rely on behavior change programs as essential parts of their demand side management (DSM) portfolios. This report evaluates the effectiveness of currently available programs, focusing on programs that have been assessed for energy savings. This report focuses on behavior change programs that primarily rely on social-science-based strategies instead of traditional approaches such as incentives, rebates, pricing, or legal and policy strategies. The objective is to help program administrators choose effective behavior change programs for their specific purposes.
This study focused on homeowner decision-making in response to home energy assessments, combined with the quality of the recommendations, the home energy assessment, and home energy labels. This report analyzes what assessments provide and what homeowners seem to want. It presents the results of a study of an existing home energy audit program pilot offered by Seattle City Light. From mid-2010 to late 2011, approximately 1,350 home energy assessments were completed in Seattle as part of Seattle City Light's program.
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 report presents findings from an impact evaluation of the Universal Audit Tool (UAT). UAT programs provide residential customers with advice on energy efficiency, insight into areas of high energy use, and tips and suggestions for saving both energy and money based on responses to an online survey regarding household appliances, occupancy, and other dwelling characteristics.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Fall 2015.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held in Winter 2016.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buidlings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Spring 2016.
This paper explores ways in which program administrators are using social norms to spur behavior change and, as a result, curb energy use. In recent years, home energy reports (HER) programs have applied the concept of social norms to the energy efficiency context. These feedback programs inform customers of how their energy consumption compares to their neighbors' and provide other information about their usage, with the goal of enticing customers to change their energy use behavior to improve their relative neighborhood ranking.
Building on the strategy of creating a sustainable workplace, many companies have been focusing their efforts on developing a sustainable workforce. This approach to combining sustainability initiatives and employee engagement creates a value chain that has positive impacts for employers and employees alike and the communities they live in.
This paper describes the current state of energy efficiency financing, highlighting what is and isn’t working, while offering a look at the future of the industry.
The California investor-owned utilities -- Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), referred to collectively as the IOUs or Joint Utilities -- are designing seven energy efficiency financing pilot programs at the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC's) direction. To help inform the pilot design process and subsequent evaluation efforts, this report summarizes a comprehensive review of 15 existing financing programs representing noteworthy program models across the United States and around the globe.
Real estate professionals are increasingly aware that today’s homebuyers consider heating and cooling costs, efficient appliances, and efficient lighting to be important factors in home purchase decisions. Residential energy efficiency and real estate stakeholders, however, agree that the home resale process frequently fails to account for the value of high-performance home features. If investments in energy efficiency were more accurately reflected in home resale prices, homeowners could have greater confidence that these investments would be recouped at resale, and they might make more investments in efficiency.
The lack of documented value of retrofit measures is a barrier to many homeowners doing upgrades - as most appraisals do not include energy improvements in their comparables, and the home’s future sale can prevent the homeowner from earning a return on their investment via lower energy costs. Once the industry develops a process for valuing the energy improvements, it can unlock the significant potential for retrofit work through market pricing signals (energy efficient homes are worth more) and enhanced access to capital for those purchasing a more efficient home (energy efficient homes improve borrowers’ cashflow because they cost less to operate).
The report presents an analysis of the market performance of third-party certified sustainable residential properties in the Portland and Seattle metropolitan areas. In each location, a sample of third-party certified homes was selected and comparable homes were found. The author documents that certified homes in the Seattle metro area sold at a price premium of 9.6% when compared to noncertified counterparts.
This paper describes existing barriers to integrating energy efficiency data into real estate markets, and illustrates recent efforts to address them. National cross-industry collaborations have resulted in standard data collection and transfer tools that allow home performance data to be shared across industries. Real estate markets in some regions have begun including these data into multiple listing services (MLS), making them visible during real estate transactions.
This study examines actual loan performance data obtained from CoreLogic, the lending industry’s leading source of such data. To assess whether residential energy efficiency is associated with lower default and prepayment risks, a national sample of about 71,000 ENERGY STAR and non-ENERGY STAR-rated single-family home mortgages was carefully constructed, accounting for loan, household, and neighborhood characteristics. The study finds that default risks are on average 32 percent lower in energy-efficient homes, controlling for other loan determinants.
This study looks at evidence of capitalization of energy efficiency features in home prices using data from real estate multiple listing services (MLS) in three metropolitan areas: the Research Triangle region of North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon. These home listings include information on Energy Star certification and, in Portland and Austin, local green certifications. Our results suggest that Energy Star certification increases the sales prices of homes built between 1995 and 2006 but has no statistically significant effect on sales prices for newer homes.
This report is intended to serve as a guide for policymakers and multifamily stakeholders on benchmarking and disclosure rules and regulations. It provides an introduction to the multifamily housing sector, followed by a thorough review of existing benchmarking and disclosure policies and an assessment of continuing policy challenges and opportunities.
This report represents NEEP’s annual assessment of the major policy developments of 2014, as well as its look into the immediate future, where NEEP gauge states’ progress toward capturing cost-effective energy efficiency as a first-order resource. While looking at the region as a whole, NEEP also provides summary and analysis of some of the biggest building energy efficiency successes and setbacks from Maine to Maryland — including significant energy efficiency legislation and regulations and changes in funding levels for energy efficiency programs.
This report shares the results of a research study conducted to understand the awareness and perceptions of potential consumers regarding ductless heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. The results were intended to help the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance improve messaging and marketing themes related to these products across the northwest region.
This report provides policymakers with principles and recommendations to understand and manage concerns about bill and rate impacts resulting from requiring utilities to provide efficiency programs.
This report describes how customer usage data can help promote the adoption of retro-commissioning polices for public and private commercial buildings.
This report provides a forecast of how building energy codes and appliance efficiency standards are likely to capture significant energy efficiency savings through 2025.
The report, the second in a series of reports on smart meters, presents concrete examples of findings from behavior analytics research using data that are immediately useful and relevant, including proof-of-concept analytics techniques that can be adapted and used by others, novel discoveries that answer important policy questions, and guidelines and protocols that summarize best practices for analytics and evaluation.
This publication presents examples of the value that insights from behavior analytics can provide to programs (as well as pointing out its limitations).
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.
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.
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.
Flowcharts showing the key program elements (financing; workforce development; marketing and outreach; and data, evaluation; and reporting).
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.
This report describes different approaches to energy efficiency finance taken by utilities.
This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resource is intended to help state and local governments design finance programs for their jurisdiction. It describes financing program options, key components of these programs, and factors to consider as they make decisions about getting started or updating their programs.
The Residential Retrofit Program Design Guide focuses on the key elements and design characteristics of building and maintaining a successful residential energy upgrade program. The material is presented as a guide for program design and planning from start to finish, laid out in chronological order of program development.
This report presents results, recommendations, and case studies of energy efficiency financing programs.
This website provides an overview of financing as it pertains to state, local, and tribal governments who are designing and implementing clean energy financing programs. Residential financing tools include residential PACE (R-PACE), on-bill financing and repayment, loan loss reserves and other credit enhancements, revolving loan funds, and energy efficient mortgages.
This guide assists with developing an implementation plan for a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. It covers key elements of the plan, including the scope and objectives of the program and the policies and procedures that will ensure its success, including co-marketing and brand guidelines (section 1), workforce development and contractor engagement (section 3), assessment and report requirements (section 4), installation specifications and test-out procedures (section 5), and quality assurance (section 6).
Because of its potential to reduce customers’ first costs and leverage private funds, financing has been increasing in importance as a strategy for facilitating energy upgrades as program administrators seek to meet ambitious goals in a shifting energy efficiency landscape. This paper evaluates the experience of BBNP grantees to identify how programs can most effectively integrate loan offerings into their broader efforts to promote energy efficiency upgrades. The paper also identifies best practices from grantees’ experience related to integrating financing into program outreach and trade ally interactions.
This report reviews Ouachita Electric Cooperative's transition to its HELP PAYS® tariffed on-bill investment program. This analysis uses data for the first nine months of the program launched in 2016. Some of those benefits are being validated immediately by the market response in the service area compared to the same period of the prior year with HELP, the on-bill financing program that HELP PAYS replaced.
Volume 6 of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Evaluation Report provides findings from a comprehensive impact, process, and market effects evaluation of the program period, spanning from September 2010 through August 2013. This volume includes case studies that describe successful strategies that programs used during the evaluation period.
Volume 4 of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Evaluation Report assesses the degree to which the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program met its process goals and objectives to identify the most effective program design and implementation approaches.
Volume 5 of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Evaluation Report provides findings from a comprehensive impact, process, and market effects evaluation of the program period, spanning from September 2010 through August 2013.
Volume 2 of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Evaluation Report comprises a measurement and verification process, as well as billing regression analysis on projects with sufficient utility bill data, to determine gross verified savings.
Volume 3 of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Evaluation Report statistically identifies factors associated with successful residential energy upgrade programs using a survey sampling, cluster analysis, and multivariate regression approach.
Volume 1 of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Evaluation Report provides findings from a comprehensive impact, process, and market effects evaluation of the program period, spanning from September 2010 through August 2013.
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.
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.