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.
These tips from ENERGY STAR will help you find the right HVAC contractor, get quality and value from the contractor and your new equipment, and get a signed agreement on the work to be done.
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 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 industry survey incorporates raw data collected from local, state and national energy efficiency, green and high performance certification and verification programs, builders and developers, home energy raters and many others to compile an updated database of units built or retrofitted in North Carolina since approximately 2007.
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 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.
This report contains guidance on issues and policy options related to providing access to customer energy use information that can be used to support and enhance the provision of energy efficiency services while protecting customer privacy.
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.
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.
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 presents an analysis of data for residential single-family projects reported by 37 organizations that were awarded federal financial assistance (cooperative agreements or grants) by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. The report characterizes the energy-efficiency measures installed for single-family residential projects and analyzes energy savings and savings prediction accuracy for measures installed in a subset of those projects.
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 resource is intended to help state energy, environmental, and policy makers identify and quantify the many benefits of clean energy to support the development and implementation of cost-effective clean energy initiatives. It also identified the multiple benefits of clean energy and explains why they should be quantified and considered along with costs.
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 report examines how to influence customer behavior and choice.
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 handbook provides both a strategic planning framework and standard methodologies to determine the energy and non-energy benefits of benchmarking and transparency (B&T) policies and programs that have recently begun to proliferate in jurisdictions across the United States. The intent of this handbook is to provide a simple “how-to-guide” with very clear steps and data requirements for the primary analysis methods recommended for use by local jurisdictions wishing or needing to assess the impacts of their B&T policies.
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 resource provides best practices and highlights case studies for how utilities, policymakers, building managers, and community stakeholders can improve access to energy usage data while working towards the goal of improving efficiency in their communities.
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 provides a comprehensive review of a wide range of problems and inconsistencies in current cost-effectiveness test practices, and recommends a range of best practices to address them.
This example guide was originally designed for grantees participating in U.S. DOE's Better Buildings program from 2010 - 2014 to ensure uniform, easily recognizable national identity of the Better Buildings brand. Pages 5-9 provide useful guidance for crafting messages. It also provides messaging examples.
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.
This publication summarizes some of the incentives offered by Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners.
Flowcharts showing the key program elements (financing; workforce development; marketing and outreach; and data, evaluation; and reporting).
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.
This document summarizes top marketing and outreach takeaways shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during spring 2015 Peer Exchange Calls.
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.
The Better Buildings Residential Network hosts a series of Peer Exchange Calls for members to discuss similar needs and challenges, and to collectively identify effective strategies and useful resources. This document provides a sample of lessons learned shared by members during Peer Exchange Calls held in fall 2014.
This report covers how customer satisfaction translates into real and tangible value for power and utility companies and is better for business.
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.
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.
This document summarizes the findings of a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analysis on how whole-building data aggregation thresholds statistically affect customer privacy.
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.
This article discusses the content, structure, and educational techniques for designing an educational curriculum around energy efficient building and design. It includes an outline of classes in the syllabus and an assessment test used at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, AZ.
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.
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.
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 table identifies several challenges and the strategies and tactics that can be used to overcome them.
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).
New advanced Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are pouring into the marketplace and are stimulating new thinking and a shift in the energy efficiency EM&V paradigm. These emerging technologies, including advanced data collection and analytic tools, are purported to provide timely analytics on program results and efficacy. This report reviews how new data analytic tools serve to help identify savings opportunities and engaging customers in programs like never before, and explores the potential for advanced data collection (e.g. AMI, smart meters) and data analytics to improve and streamline the evaluation process.
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 guidance document provides background and instructions for program administrators to use the data collected by smart thermostats to calculate energy savings for a program.
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.
This guide to Community Workforce Agreements is an appendix to the Road Map to Emerald Cities and provides a framework to use an innovation on the traditional Project Labor Agreement to give life and meaning to the social compact.
This paper examines criteria for a comparative assessment of multiple financing programs for energy efficiency, developed through a statewide public process in California.
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 fact sheet provides information about energy efficiency, explains how utility and state investment in energy efficiency helps consumers, and describes what to expect from utility or state 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 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 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Clean Energy Policy Brief describes how adding sales skills to contractors' existing technical expertise helps convert more assessments into comprehensive home energy upgrades. It profiles Efficiency Maine's contractor sales training and includes a list of resources.
Energy Trust of Oregon’s contractor selection tips provide several considerations for choosing an energy efficiency contractor.
This report summarizes existing research and discusses current practices, opportunities, and barriers to coordinating energy efficiency and demand response programs.
This document was prepared by the Regional Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Forum Cost-effectiveness screening for energy efficiency investments is fundamental to customer energy efficiency programs. It is, in essence, the benefit-cost analysis framework that helps stakeholders – including utility regulators, program administrators, and other policymakers –determine which types of energy efficiency investments represent net beneficial investments for ratepayers according to what is in the public interest based on the state’s energy policies.
This blog provides six tips the home performance communications professionals can use to create a new or update an existing marketing plan.
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 analyzes and develops estimates of non-energy impacts that could be included in cost effectiveness analyses for the EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency programs. Four non-energy benefits are included in this analysis: air emissions, comfort, commercial operations and maintenance (O&M), and utility bill arrearages. In all four cases, a recommended value and methods for including them in future EMPOWER costs effectiveness analyses are provided.
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 insight brief covers the set of standardized consumer protections for property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs that go above and beyond state legislative requirements and are recommended for universal adoption by state and local governments and bond-issuing entities.
This guide details and explains the five types of general program evaluations and provides guidance on selecting the type of evaluation suited to the program to be evaluated, given the type of information required and budget limitations. It is intended for use by managers of both deployment and R&D programs within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), although most of the examples of evaluations pertain to deployment programs.
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.