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The key challenge with quantifying savings from end-use efficiency activities is the identification of an accurate baseline from which to determine the savings. Regardless of the protocol or procedure applied, all savings values are determined by estimating likely energy use in the absence of the program or project (the “counterfactual” scenario, or baseline). This webcast provides an introduction to considerations and common practices for defining baselines, the relationship between baselines and savings attribution, and examples of how different jurisdictions are addressing market baseline studies, setting baselines for retrofit measures, and market transformation program baselines.
This webcast covers a report that is a comparative analysis of utility-run behavior programs, which lays the groundwork for further program development by developing a classification scheme, or taxonomy, that sorts programs into discrete categories.
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.
This webcast provided an overview of on-bill financing programs, and presented three case studies: Manitoba Hydro, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and Pacific Gas & Electric (California).
This webcast provides an introduction to cost-effectiveness testing for energy efficiency programs. It also covers key drivers in the cost-effectiveness results and cost-effectiveness tools developed for the U.S. Department of Energy.
This webcast discusses financing program RFPs and contract terms and conditions.
This webcast provides information on why outreach is important for program success and how programs can promote their efforts.
This webcast focused on advanced topics for local government-utility partnerships, with presentations from local governments and their partnering utilities that have well-developed, multi-year relationships and programs.
This presentation describes how PG&E is using advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to enhance their advanced home upgrade whole-house retrofit program, on-bill financing, and residential pay for performance (P4P) program.
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 home energy reports to inform homeowners about their home energy use and use of customer research and segmentation to improve the results from these reports. Speakers include Opinion Dynamics and Pacific Gas & Electric.
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 best practices on upgrades for zero energy ready homes. Speakers include Florida Solar Energy Center and BIRAenergy.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on using tailored messaging and approaches to meet the unique needs of families. Building Doctors is the featured speaker.
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 strategies for scaling up and growing residential energy efficiency programs or contracting businesses. It covered PG&E's Residential Energy Efficiency Program's Pay for Performance (P4P) program. It also covered priority areas to consider when scaling up a program, such as contractor sales and marketing training and maintaining quality.
Better Buildings Home Upgrade Program Accelerator partners, Build It Green, Enhabit, and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, discussed steps for streamlining program processes, and strategies to improve data management, contractor relationships, and customer experiences. Tools and resources were presented as examples of how these ideas can be implemented in programs across the country.
Energy retrofits can harm or help resident health. Beyond preventing harm, this presentation covers how to use energy retrofits as an opportunity to improve the lives of your building residents and the surrounding community. It focuses on different ways that organizations are using energy efficiency to improve their communities through positive health outcomes and job creation.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how home energy upgrade programs can interact and connect with the real estate market.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how home energy upgrades can support electric vehicle adoption.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on effective messages to motivate homeowners to undertake upgrades over time.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how to assess, reassess, and initiate organization partnerships.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on changes and trends in the market for home energy upgrades.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on combining energy and water conservation services.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focuses on how mentoring on sales skills and business management helped one contractor increase sales and become more profitable. The call also covered top tips for supporting contractors, such as helping contractors develop systems to be more efficient in completing projects and creating a service plan with customers for additional improvements in the future.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on community-based outreach and organizing strategies to market home energy assessments and upgrades.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on approaches to generate demand for energy efficiency upgrades at multifamily buildings.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on new and updated revenue strategies.
This peer exchange call summary focused on the advantages, challenges, creation and management of regional networks.
This peer exchange call summary focused on developing rebate/incentive programs to generate a demand for sustainable programs and products.
This peer exchange call summary focused on different tenant and resident education programs and how to make them complement larger programs.
This peer exchange call summary focused on strategies, opportunities and focuses on shared space and technology in multi-family buildings and in-unit upgrades.
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.
This peer exchange call summary focused on raising awareness and integrating the value of energy efficiency into transactions with the real estate sector.
This peer exchange call summary focused on multifamily information technology tools for project information, marketing, assessment, tracking and evaluation.
Presentation describing on-bill repayment programs and providing financing lessons learned.
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.
Homeowner survey created by the utility to inform their whole home upgrade program.
This study provides an overview of practices for quantifying and reporting avoided energy-water costs from demand-side measures. It also summarizes the regulatory guidance for incorporating water savings into cost-effectiveness screening for energy efficiency programs.
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.
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 paper explores the drivers of energy use behaviors and the behavior‐based programs adopted by utilities charged with reducing the energy consumption of their residential and small commercial customers. It also presents researchable recommendations on how utilities can improve the effectiveness of behavior‐based energy 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 paper describes the changes in indoor environmental quality (IEQ) conditions (air quality and thermal comfort conditions) from health and home performance improvements in 16 apartments serving low-income populations within three buildings in different California climates and seasons.
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 literature review describes what is currently known about the occupant health benefits resulting from residential energy efficiency or work that is consistent with home performance upgrades. Of particular interest are the occupant health impacts associated with work typically conducted by the home performance industry, such as: air sealing and insulation; properly-sized, selected, matched, and installed energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; identification and correction of moisture problems; proper whole house and room ventilation; lighting; and additional services including the replacement of appliances; measurement and installation of whole house and room air filtration systems (e.g., air purifiers); and basic pest exclusion. The intent of this literature review is to examine research that assessed work that would not be expected to harm residents or the workers.
This report is a guide to all customer-facing financing products—products offered by a lender directly to a borrower—used to pay for energy efficiency. Intended for state and local governments that are deciding whether to start a new program, tune up and existing program, or create a Green Bank, it provides information on the full range of financing product options for target participants, the tradeoffs of various products, and potential advantages and disadvantages for different types of customers.
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.
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.
This report details opportunities for scaling up program activity and increasing savings from programs reaching the people who need it most. It discussed best practices from existing programs for overcoming many of the key challenges that program administrators face, including how to address housing deficiencies that prevent energy efficiency upgrades, how to address cost effectiveness challenges, and how to serve hard-to-reach households.
This report provides information and tools for policymakers, regulators, utilities, shared renewable energy developers, program administrators and others to support the adoption and implementation of shared renewables programs specifically designed to provide tangible benefits to low income and moderate income individuals and households.
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.
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 report lays the groundwork for a dialogue to explore regulatory and policy mechanisms for ensuring that efficiency financing initiatives provide value for society and protection for consumers. Through case studies of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, California, and Maryland, it explores emerging issues that jurisdictions will need to tackle when considering an increased reliance on financing.
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.
This document summarizes top marketing and outreach takeaways shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during spring 2015 Peer Exchange Calls.
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.
This paper presents the results of a comprehensive study of the energy-related needs of California’s low-income population. This study was commissioned to direct future policy regarding the various low-income energy programs offered in the state. These programs include the California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) Program, which provides a rate discount to qualified low-income customers, and the Low-Income Energy Efficiency (LIEE) Program, which installs weatherization and energy efficiency measures in qualified dwellings at no charge.
The purpose of this study is to furnish comprehensive information on ratepayer-funded low-income energy programs. This study includes information on and analysis of the energy needs of low-income households, the legal and regulatory framework supporting ratepayer-funded programs, program design options, and the findings from evaluations of program effectiveness.
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.
The MF HERCC Recommendations Report 2015 Update expands the 2011 publication, and delivers explicit and refined recommendations for multifamily energy efficiency program administrators and implementers.
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 considers consumers' perspectives on policy and regulatory issues associated with the administration of energy efficiency investments funded by ratepayers of electric and natural gas utilities.
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 describes the key issues, best practices, and main process steps for integrating energy efficiency into resource planning on an equal basis with other resources.
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 describes how utility planning processes that allow demand-side resources to compete with supply-side resources can promote cost-effective energy efficiency.
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 presents the results of a scoping study to assess the need for national databases that can support best practices in energy efficiency program evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V).
This report provides information on how access to energy use data can help local governments create policies for benchmarking and disclosing building energy performance for public and private sector buildings.
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 the current state of on-bill programs and provides actionable insights on key program design considerations for on-bill lending programs.
This report summarizes the issues and approaches involved in motivating customers to reduce the total energy they consume through energy prices and rate design.
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 provides state and local policymakers with information on successful approaches to the design and implementation of residential efficiency programs for households ineligible for low-income programs.
This paper first details industry best practices for contest administration, including tips for developing an overall contest plan and timeline, product sponsor recruitment, building a dynamic informational website, maximizing customer participation, selecting the winning home, seamless installation management, capturing and documenting project results, conducting a high profile media open house and facilitating customer workshops that educate homeowners and strengthen trade ally relationships. This paper then presents results and key lessons learned from more than 20 contests supported with funds from local community sustainability programs, utility energy efficiency programs, and U.S. Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds between 2008 and 2012.
This paper establishes the size of the potential retrofit market in the United States, and examines the emergence of new financing models that offer the promise of overcoming historical barriers to energy efficiency.
Report that identifies and evaluates the sufficiency of available financing options to help low-income populations, particularly communities that have been historically overburdened by air pollution (i.e., "environmental justice communities"), invest in resource-saving measures, such as energy efficiency and water conservation.