This report explores the best practices that utilities should undertake in the development and implementation of energy efficiency programs. The report calculates the impact that investing in energy efficiency will have on jobs, household income, and state and regional economies, along with the other public health benefits such as reducing pollution.
This article provides 10 tips home energy contractors can use to update their marketing outreach and improve their customer service.
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).
Low-income energy efficiency programs provide financially vulnerable utility customers with important energy savings. To date, low-income programs have faced challenges in driving participation -- fueling myths that suggest low-income populations are difficult to reach. This paper explores these myths in turn.
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 report focuses on six energy efficiency areas for state and local governments to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial and multifamily buildings, which include strengthening market demand and expanding public-private partnerships.
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 brand model, developed by the Dubberly Design Office, provides useful steps and tips for developing a new brand. Download the document for a better view. Note that the document is poster size, so zoom in for clarity.
This guide provides energy efficiency program design guidance for local and regional programs. It focuses on cost-saving energy efficiency strategies, creation of high quality jobs, and services for the low-income sector.
This report offers policy options and considerations to state utility commissions in providing access to energy use data to help commercial customers manage energy costs through building energy benchmarking.
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.
This report is targeted at both policymakers and program administrators who are less familiar with secondary markets and their significance in the energy efficiency context, as well as those that are more familiar with these concepts and may be actively considering secondary market strategies. It covers how efficient access to capital from secondary markets -- reselling energy loans to investors to replenish program funds -- is being advanced as an important enabler of the energy efficiency industry “at scale.”
A variety of new feedback initiatives, including real-time web-based or in-home feedback devices and enhanced billing approaches, are making energy resources visible to residential consumers throughout the United States. These initiatives are opening the door to potential energy savings that, on average, have reduced individual household electricity consumption 4 to 12%. In so doing, feedback is proving a critical first step in engaging and empowering consumers to thoughtfully manage their energy use.
The intent of the Handbook is to: Encourage energy efficiency design in new construction as well as in acquisition/rehab projects; Showcase the funding sources, programs, incentives, and assistance available to further lower investments in energy efficiency; Overcome owner-developers perception that achieving large energy savings is usually too expensive, time consuming or difficult; Demonstrate design concepts, processes, and practices that will help to minimize the costs of high performance buildings; Highlight the non-energy benefits associated with high performance buildings; Dispel the myth that cheaply built homes are affordable to operate in terms of utility costs; Emphasize that energy efficiency lowers utility bills, thereby enhancing home affordability; Stress that a home that just complies with Title 24 is the least efficient home you can legally build in California.
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 study was conducted on behalf of the Colorado Energy Office to provide an analysis of the impact of energy efficiency on the home buying process. It highlights the appraisers’ dependence on Realtor‐supplied data and clearly illustrates the need for appraisers to be competent on items related to energy efficiency; in as far as these items are relevant to the appraiser’s specific assignment, scope of work and market area.
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 document is the appendices to the main report presenting the preliminary process and market evaluation of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.
This report provides a forecast of how building energy codes and appliance efficiency standards are likely to capture significant energy efficiency savings through 2025.
This paper describes a wide variety of behavior change insights potentially applicable to the energy efficiency program context, provides examples of efficiency programs that have applied these insights, and explores some untapped opportunities to achieve energy savings through behavior change.
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 document provides sample policy language based on a synthesis of existing state and local policies, and discussion on key provisions, for the design of a commercial benchmarking and disclosure policy.
Improving energy efficiency significantly lowers energy bills, creates jobs, and reduces pollution – benefits which all utility customers enjoy. The benefits of efficiency may be greatest in California’s low income communities, however, where poorly weatherized homes, high unemployment rates, and proximity to fossil-fuel fired power plants are too often the norm.
This document provides updated best practice guidelines to help implement the Policy Framework for PACE Financing Programs, initially announced on October 18, 2009. DOE has developed these revisions to the original “Guidelines for Pilot PACE Financing Programs,” initially issued on May 7, 2010, to reflect the evolving structure of the PACE market and incorporate lessons learned from various PACE programs that have been successfully implemented. The revised and updated guidelines focus specifically on best practices and guidelines for residential PACE financing programs.
This two-volume report distills the practices that have been shown to work in many settings to implement the renovation of affordable housing. These best practices are designed to address the challenges to rehab at its development, construction, and occupancy stages. Volume 1 is a comprehensive resource guide to state, local, and federal tools for overcoming barriers. Volume 2 provides analyses of key rehab resources and barriers, and case studies of state and local efforts to overcome major regulatory impediments.
This paper, which is based on detailed case studies of nine existing state and local programs, presents recommendations for energy upgrade programs to facilitate industry growth and support contractor business models.
This paper is intended to guide state governments on Clean Power Plan compliance and shows how leading by example in state and local government programs communicates an agency’s commitment to reducing energy consumption, protecting facilities, and protecting taxpayer dollars.
This report serves as a resource for program administrators and building contractors who are or may be interested in starting or expanding their services into the residential energy efficiency market.
Flowcharts showing the key program elements (financing; workforce development; marketing and outreach; and data, evaluation; and reporting).
Outlines five public-private financing mechanism options for energy efficiency upgrades programs, including on-bill financing, PACE financing, and loan loss reserve funds.
In 2011 the City of Boulder, Colorado enacted its “SmartRegs” ordinances that require all single family and multifamily rental properties to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard by January 2019. The SmartRegs initiative is designed to help the city achieve its ambitious carbon emissions reduction goals and to improve the quality, safety, and marketability of Boulder’s rental housing stock.
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.
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 research report and slides provide a detailed segmentation of the building energy upgrade market and summarize market research on each segment. Market segments include single-family homes, multi-family homes, and several types of commercial and institutional buildings.
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 study focused on barriers to, and opportunities for, solar photovoltaic energy generation; opportunities for, access to other renewable energy by low-income customers; contracting opportunities for local small businesses in disadvantaged communities; low-income customers to energy efficiency and weatherization investments, including those in disadvantaged communities. It also provides recommendations on how to increase access to energy efficiency and weatherization investments to low-income customers.
This marketing strategy includes the goals and objectives the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Energy Alliance set out to meet.
This report explores how governments and energy efficiency implementers could help stakeholders better analyze and act upon building performance data to unlock savings.
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 presents results from three surveys of homeowners, renters, and contractors, which compared their perceptions and priorities for healthy housing to the principles of indoor air and environmental quality. Survey results indicate that: nearly one quarter of homeowners had some concern about healthy-home problems or risks; homeowners cited indoor air quality issues as their leading concern, followed by water quality, harmful materials and chemicals, and indoor environmental quality (such as noise or light pollution).
This report describes the characteristics of fifteen types of single-family homes in the Chicago area and the packages of energy efficiency measures that result in an optimal level of energy savings.
This publication advances the growth of energy efficiency finance and renewable energy finance markets in the United States by providing industry news, building professional dialogue, and fostering innovation. The forum includes: original feature articles covering cutting-edge topics and conferences; a biweekly newsletter of curated and original content; online conversations among experts in the field; and opportunities to register for webinars and other events
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.
This report highlights road-tested strategies, resources, and tools states can use to adopt cost-effective energy efficiency and clean energy programs for their buildings, facilities, and operations.
Behavioral change programs are not necessarily a separate category of efficiency efforts; rather, behavioral approaches can be effectively integrated into all programs in residential, commercial, or industrial settings. As increased connectivity within homes and businesses expands opportunities to provide energy information, the role of behavior will likely become even more prominent. Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Inc. (CEE) provides this webpage dedicated to behavior change resources.
This guide shows HVAC contractors how to get started in the home improvement market. It explains the approach of treating a house like a system and provides step-by-step instructions on setting up a home performance contracting business.
This report summarizes existing research and discusses current practices, opportunities, and barriers to coordinating energy efficiency and demand response programs.
This report provides an overview of credit enhancements available, such as loan loss reserves, loan guarantees, debt service reserve funds, and subordinated capital. It also discusses key issues related to credit enhancement, examples of how others have successfully implemented credit enhancements as part of their energy efficiency financing programs, and additional information on existing resources that provide further information on credit enhancement design and implementation.
Several recent studies purport to show that particular energy efficiency programs and policies do not work or are too expensive. This short paper is written for people who are not evaluation experts and are trying to understand what conclusions they can take from these studies. We examine many of these papers and find that while they do have some useful findings, they often include a variety of unreasonable assumptions or outright mistakes that undermine their conclusions. Based on this review, we offer several recommendations on ways we can constructively move forward.
This report characterizes and explores cryptic barriers to energy efficiency. These barriers are cryptic in the sense that they are hidden or unrecognized; they do not stem from the same market failures that have been the subject of extensive study and the target of many policy and program interventions. Cryptic barriers reflect several different underlying problems, including regulatory uncertainty, archaic or legacy regulations, and inaccurate ratings and standards. Drawing on case studies, the objective of this report is to suggest opportunities for policy actions that could improve residential building efficiency and to propose potential tools to eliminate cryptic barriers.
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 summarizes the issues and approaches involved in motivating customers to reduce the total energy they consume through energy prices and rate design.
This report summarizes the approaches used by energy efficiency program administrators when assessing the range of financial and other incentives to be used in energy efficiency programs.
This document provides an overview of how state policymakers, utilities, and regulators can overcome barriers to deploying customer energy information and feedback strategies.
This fact sheet provides an overview of how state policymakers, utilities, and regulators can overcome barriers to deploying customer energy information and feedback strategies.
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 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.
Guidelines for home performance professionals for quality work, effective training, and professional accreditation.
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 website for DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program provides a virtual library of rules, regulations, policies, and procedures for helping low-income families reduce energy costs.
This guide provides an assessment of various approaches to Marketing & Outreach for home energy efficiency improvements.
This study assesses the benefits of adding health and home performance to a community health worker education program on asthma control in King County, Washington, from October 2009 to September 2010. The study compared group homes receiving community health worker education on health and home performance benefits and interventions with historical comparison group homes receiving only education on asthma control. Over the study period, the percentage of study group children with not-well-controlled or very poorly controlled asthma decreased more than the comparison group.
This series of 19 tip sheets is based on the experience and expertise of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities. The tip sheets cover a wide range of topics, such as marketing and communications (effective messaging, traditional media strategies, community-based social marketing, and testimonial videos) and working with specific types of stakeholders (institutional partners, contractors, experts, utilities, early adopters, volunteers).
This tip sheet was inspired by the experiences and expertise of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities (CSCs). It focuses on working with experts and highlights best practices and helpful resources and recommended resources for other communities interested in pursuing similar projects.
This tip sheet was inspired by the experiences and expertise of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities (CSCs). It focuses on working with institutional partners and highlights best practices and helpful resources and recommended resources for other communities interested in pursuing similar projects.
This report documents the results of an analysis of the electric end-use energy efficiency potential in the U.S. single-family detached housing stock. Technical and economic potential estimates inform the role that residential energy efficiency plays in addressing the objectives of reliable, affordable, and clean electricity for residential end uses.
This report is part of a series of "baseline" reports intended to inform the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2). QER 1.2 provides a comprehensive review of the nation's electricity system and cover the current state and key trends related to the electricity system, including generation, transmission, distribution, grid operations and planning, and end use. The baseline reports provide an overview of elements of the electricity system. This report focuses on end uses, electricity consumption, electric energy efficiency, distributed energy resources (DERs) (such as demand response, distributed generation, and distributed storage), and evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) methods for energy efficiency and DERs.
Describes program guidelines for EmPower Louisiana's Home Energy Rebate Option (HERO)-Existing Homes Program. Provides guidance to participants on how the EmPower Louisiana HERO Program will be implemented, and provides details on all aspects of the application and reporting process.
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 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 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 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 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 examines the different types of financiers and their specific strengths, weaknesses, and areas of focus. Specifically, the paper addresses the different types of financing partnerships in the marketplace and offers a guide to their individual interests, risk tolerances, and place in the financial services industry.
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.
This report describes different approaches to energy efficiency finance taken by utilities.
This report provides an overview of considerations for designing and implementing successful energy efficiency financing programs for existing buildings in the residential and commercial sectors. Information on key issues related to energy efficiency financing programs, guidance to existing resources that provide more in-depth financing program design and implementation information, and strategies for delivering broad customer access to attractive financing products that enhance customer capacity and willingness to invest in energy efficiency to address "first cost" barriers are included.
Reviews and summarize energy efficiency financing models and strategies. Models are analyzed according to funding sources, program structures, limits to scale, repayment vehicles, and project risks. Strategies consider applicable building sectors, models, levels of establishment, growth potential, advantages, and disadvantages.
Local governments can promote energy efficiency in their jurisdictions by developing and implementing strategies that improve the efficiency of municipal facilities and operations and/or encourage energy efficiency improvements in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The energy efficiency guides in this series describe the process of developing and implementing strategies, using real-world examples, for improving energy efficiency in local government operations (see the guides on local government operations, K-12 schools, energy-efficient product procurement, combined heat and power, and water and wastewater facilities), as well as in the community.
This paper examines the energy efficiency of multifamily rentals in comparison to other housing types and its relationship to household income. It analyzes 2005 and just‐released 2009 data from the U.S. Residential Energy Consumption Survey and finds that multifamily rentals were significantly less energy efficient than other types of housing, both nationwide and in every region of the country.
This report illustrates concrete ways in which energy efficiency has, in recent years, stimulated the creation of direct, indirect, and induced jobs. This report provides examples of job creation that have resulted from energy efficiency by profiling programs, policies, investments, partnerships, and business models that have catalyzed regional increases in employment.
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 analyzes the energy efficiency opportunity presented to the greater Cincinnati region. Analysis of the region and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA) programs shows potential energy cost savings, including positive cash flow from energy cost savings that consistently exceed loan payments, for both residential and nonprofit participants. Investment in energy efficiency could make counties more competitive, create jobs, reduce pollution, and help homeowners and nonprofits make cross-cutting building improvements.
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 guide provides an introduction to the key issues, practices, and steps for calculating energy savings, avoided emissions, and other non-energy impacts associated with energy efficiency programs.
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.
In 2014, ACEEE launched a pilot program to test a variety of behavioral strategies to promote energy efficiency among tenants in low- to moderate-income multifamily housing in Takoma Park, Maryland. The program included behavioral messaging, events, educational information, and the distribution of energy saving devices. ACEEE measured energy use in the months before and after the pilot. The white paper includes these results, insights for the development of future behavioral change programs, and recommended engagement strategies for targeted communities.
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 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.
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 outlines where costs and energy savings can be achieved and dives into strategies that utilities and multi-family building owners can use to create a more effective partnership. With an understanding that states and local regions sometimes can lack energy efficiency policies, this report outlines ways to go beyond what's required and move the efficiency discussion forward in expanding the resources available for energy efficiency upgrades.
This paper presents obstacles to increasing lender and consumer participation in energy efficiency financing identified by a group of small to mid-size lenders, and offers recommendations to the energy efficiency community to foster growth in the market for energy efficiency financing.
This guide provides background on the home improvement market in the U.S. and Canada and end users and systems in existing homes, as well as a description of energy efficiency program approaches and strategies.
This report analyzes ten categories of utility-sector energy efficiency programs that have achieved high participation among targeted customer markets. Despite issues with the nature and availability of participation data, the study draws on published data sources and interviews with program contacts and industry experts to identify many examples of programs that have achieved high participation.
This report presents results from an analysis of asthma-related health benefits of health and home performance interventions using data collected from 49 households in Northwestern Washington State from 2006 to 2013.
Through field-testing and analysis, this project evaluated whole-building approaches and estimated the relative contributions of select technologies toward reducing energy use related to space conditioning in new manufactured homes. Three lab houses of varying designs were built and tested side-by-side under controlled conditions in Russellville, Alabama. The tests provided a valuable indicator of how changes in the construction of manufactured homes can contribute to significant reductions in energy use.
This report is the first comparative analysis of utility-run behavior programs. It lays the groundwork for further program development by developing a classification scheme, or taxonomy, that sorts programs into discrete categories. This study counted 281 such programs, many with multiple iterations, offered by 114 energy providers and third parties between 2008 and 2013. After sorting programs by distinguishing features such as delivery channel and incentive type, the study arrived at 20 major program categories grouped in three large families: Cognition Programs, Calculus Programs, and Social Interaction Programs.
Table showing challenges, needs, strategies, and resources related to financing.
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.