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 community-based social marketing and highlights best practices and helpful resources and recommended resources for other communities interested in pursuing similar projects.
This tip sheet from EPA's Climate Showcase Communities provides lessons from programs about strategies for effective messaging as well as recommended resources.
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 traditional media strategies 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.
This brief study shows that energy efficiency customers are more likely to install home performance upgrades if they are shown a select number of recommended options, rather than facing a choice of many options.
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 white paper from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory describes the benefits and costs of energy advisors, and describes how residential energy efficiency programs have made use of them in their program design.
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 paper examines the current state of energy efficiency financing, highlighting segments of strength such as cars, green buildings, and energy service companies, and offering areas that are underserved, including residential low-income and moderate-income households and multifamily housing.
Energy efficiency collaboratives vary greatly and are typically designed for a specific jurisdiction, making them hard to compare side by side. This guide seeks to highlight a few common elements and draw conclusions on the overall effectiveness of specific characteristics of collaboratives. This guide defines and examines four different types of collaboratives in terms of their origin, scope, decision-making method, membership, duration, available resources, and how they interact with and influence their respective commissions.
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.
The report makes the case for establishment of common data collection practices for energy efficiency lending. The report reviews existing practices for the collection of four categories of data from energy efficiency financing programs: (1) customer data; (2) financial product and performance data; (3) facility-level data; and (4) energy efficiency project data. The report then identifies high-priority needs, characterizes potential uses for finance program data, and identifies use cases that describe how stakeholders use data for key objectives and actions.
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.
This policy brief presents a program typology and standardized data metrics for assessing energy efficiency program characteristics, costs, and impacts. Based on a review of nationwide regulatory filings, the research serves as part of an effort to analyze the cost per unit of savings for utility customer-funded energy efficiency programs. The paper discusses the program categories and definitions, which are based primarily on review of several years of annual energy efficiency reports from 108 program administrators in 31 states for approximately 1,900 unique 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.
This guide is designed to help state and local governments reduce carbon emissions by connecting them with EPA programs that can help them expand or develop their own energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives in ways that benefit low-income communities. The guide can also be used by low-income community leaders and stakeholder groups to better understand how they might participate in and take advantage of EPA initiatives to help their communities save energy.
In the absence of federal requirements for energy savings, states are leading the way with effective, forward-looking energy efficiency policies. More than half of them have adopted energy efficiency resource standards (EERS), policies that set long-term mandatory energy savings targets for utilities and efficiency program administrators. This paper analyzes states' progress toward meeting these targets.
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.
State and local governments across the U.S. are focused on how clean energy can help them meet a variety of energy, economic development, and environmental goals. An early step for most energy efficiency planning involves identifying and quantifying energy savings opportunities, followed by understanding how to access this efficiency potential. This website includes national and state-level energy efficiency potential studies for the residential, commercial, and industrial sector. It introduces presentations on how building energy codes, city-led efforts, energy savings performance contracting (ESPC), industrial, and ratepayer-funded efforts can support state energy planning.
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.
The Brand Book describes the implementation of the ENERGY STAR® logo for ENERGY STAR partners that are labeling a product, new home, or building that has earned the ENERGY STAR. The Brand Book also provides information about designing a new outreach campaign and using the ENERGY STAR® logo to communicating the program's commitment to energy efficiency.
This resource includes a list of the different types of contractors you may need to hire to improve your home. Under each type is a brief description of the service they provide and questions or suggestions for working with them.
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.
Many states have adopted policies intended to overcome the barriers that limit the more efficient use of electricity. Yet because such efforts have not addressed the lack of consumer information and motivation to improve efficiency, many opportunities for energy efficiency remain untapped. To help address that problem, states, utilities, and other energy efficiency service providers have begun to develop new approaches to informing and motivating customers based on behavioral economics and psychology research. This report describes three broad strategies that states can use to engage consumers' participation in energy efficiency programs: provide direct consumer information and feedback on energy use, influence social norms; and match messages and messengers to target audiences. Recommendations for actions that governors can take within the context of each of those three strategies are provided.
This blog post is about the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) "National Survey of State Policies and Practices for the Evaluation of Ratepayer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs." It underscores the point that variability in evaluation approaches does not diminish the conclusion that energy efficiency programs are cost-effective and successful.
This report provides guidance and recommendations to help residential energy efficiency programs to more accurately estimate energy savings. It identifies steps program managers can take to ensure precise savings estimates, apply impact estimates over time, and account for and avoid potential double counting of savings.
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 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.
This guide provides a snapshot of the federal finance facilities available for energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy deployment. The guide is organized by market segment, and also includes a table that presents each finance facility by type of instrument along with the federal agency that administers the program.
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.
There are more than 17 million multifamily households nationwide, yet they remain a significant and mostly untapped opportunity for energy efficiency gains. Many cities and states that have embraced energy retrofitting as a job creator and boon to both the environment and economy have yet to address potential savings in multifamily properties, primarily because of obstacles not faced by single family and commercial properties. This paper discusses two barriers -- a lack of information and financing -- that stand in the way of multifamily energy retrofits.
This report 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.
Cool Choices layered an experiment atop four engagement games where they used game mechanics to identify high energy users and encourage those high energy users (along with other game participants) to participate in Focus on Energy residential programs. This research effort, called "Find and Flip," explored whether a gamification strategy could identify high energy users and then drive them to Focus on Energy programs.
This article highlights contractors adding home performance to their HVAC businesses.
This document summarizes discussions and recommendations from a forum for practitioners and policymakers aiming to strengthen residential energy efficiency program design and delivery for middle income households.
This report develops projections of future spending on, and savings from, energy efficiency programs funded by electric and gas utility customers under three scenarios through 2025.
This blog summarizes how BetterBuildings for Michigan, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partner, developed a "readiness scale" to help target communities by determining the factors that indicate whether homeowners in a particular area are really ready to commit to energy efficiency upgrades.
This report provides an overview of the fundamentals of energy efficiency financing program planning and design and provides tools for deciding the objectives and mechanics of EE financing initiatives. The report walks policymakers and program administrators through key questions that must be resolved to better understand what efficiency financing can be reasonably expected to achieve, and for whom.
Defines key financing terms programs are likely to encounter when designing financing activities.
This guide helps states and localities develop voluntary or mandatory programs that go well beyond minimum code requirements for new buildings. It addresses energy efficiency materials and resource conservation, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and site development and land use.
This article promotes the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance’s 2012 U.S. Green Building Council /Business Courier Green Business Award for Education/Outreach - Nonprofit. The award celebrated the program’s outreach approach of reaching out to homeowners directly through community engagement and neighborhood canvassing.
This paper found that improved health outcomes and more stable, productive homes in primarily African American, low-income neighborhoods are related to the mitigation of asthma triggers and home-based environmental health hazards and that upstream investments in low-income housing have the potential for generating sustainable returns on investment and cost savings related to improved health, productivity gains, and wealth retention due to energy conservation.
This checklist of minimum standards for residential energy efficiency contractors draws from several existing high-performing energy efficiency programs.
This paper focuses on two strategies to create quality careers and placement opportunities through deep green energy efficiency retrofits, namely joint labor-management apprenticeships and community workforce agreements.
This guide provides practical guidance for designing, implementing, and managing a green revolving fund (GRF) at a college, university, or other institution.
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.
A report examining workforce certifications, skills benchmarks, and credentialing efforts in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs nationwide and offering recommendations.
This case study includes a baseline assessment of "green fields" that highlight the green and energy-efficient aspects of homes in the MLS and the market for high-performance homes (HPHs) in the District of Columbia. The report also sets the stage for the upcoming release of additional green fields in the Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS), the local MLS in the Washington metropolitan region.
This guide provides recommended benchmarking metrics for measuring residential program performance.
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 guide introduces the Community Energy Strategic Plan (CESP) approach, a step-by-step process for creating a robust strategic energyÊ plan. The guide offers tools and tips to complete each step and highlights examples from successful planning efforts around the country.
This document provides guidance on how policymakers, utilities, and regulators should approach whole-building data access to maintain the confidentiality of utility customers.
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.
Energy efficiency program evaluation is increasingly important as utilities implement programs to meet regulatory requirements, such as energy efficiency portfolio standards. While utilities need internal staff to oversee evaluation activities, most evaluations are actually conducted by outside consultants. Thus, utility staff require a sufficient understanding of the evaluation process to plan program evaluation activities as well as to manage internal stakeholders and evaluation contractors. This guide is intended to help prepare utility staff to accomplish these tasks.
This report describes and monetizes numerous health and home performance benefits attributable to the weatherization of low-income homes by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
These protocols provide recommended minimum specifications and best practices for protection of occupant health associated with home energy upgrades.
This article from the Federal Trade Commission provides information for consumers on how to find a good contractor for a home improvement project.
Study examining actual loan performance data to assess whether residential energy efficiency is associated with lower default and prepayment risks. Results show that default risks are on average 32 percent lower in energy-efficient homes, controlling for other loan determinants.
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.
The primary objective of the quantitative research phase of this survey was to get market-based feedback and insights in the following areas to assist the industry in better serving its constituents, including: insights as to major challenges that industry is facing and potential support that organizations could provide and feedback on how industry organizations could add value for constituents in the future.
This guide helps real estate professionals understand how to provide home energy information to consumers and helps facilitate multiple listing services in delivering verified energy data.
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 fact sheet, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), includes a comprehensive set of tools and resources aimed at enhancing the training and work quality standards to be utilized throughout the home energy upgrade industry.
This blog post summarizes key elements of program design that relate to encouraging contractor participation and facilitating contractor and program success.
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).
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.
Research reveals a whole range of unmet housing-related desires in America -- gaps between what Americans have and what they say they need or want. The Demand Institute surveyed more than 10,000 households about their current living situation and what’s important to them in a home. The survey represents all U.S. households: renters and owners; movers and non-movers; young and old and finds that unsatisfied needs and desires cut across the entire population.
Information and communications technologies (ICT) can automate and transform the evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) of energy efficiency programs. ICT enables the remote monitoring and sophisticated analysis of energy usage, increasing the speed and scale of many EM&V activities. This report reviews traditional EM&V practices, explores new enabling technologies including the Internet of Things and remote building analysis, and describes the application of ICT to each stage of the EM&V process. The report then projects ways forward through a number of challenges (e.g., data overload) and concludes that ICT-enabled EM&V could eventually change the design of efficiency programs and the responsibilities of program administrators, implementers, and evaluators.
The test referenced in this article found that the pronoun used in a call-to-action button can make a big difference in whether people click on the button or not.
The objective of this Guide, in part, is to serve as a resource to support municipal electric utilities meeting electricity savings goals. This Guide serves as a resource to not only increase the understanding of best practices utilized by successful energy efficiency programs across the country, but also a plan to support MOUs implementing energy efficiency programs that will ultimately result in energy and electric bill savings for their customers. To support MOUs with the implementation of their own energy efficiency programs, this Guide leverages the lessons learned from energy efficiency programs operating across the country.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR’s new HPXML Implementation Guide helps energy efficiency program administrators and software developers overcome fragmented data exchange by integrating HPXML (home performance extensible markup language) into their operations and products. HPXML is a set of common definitions for the attributes of home systems based on Building Performance Institute data standards and the computing language that facilitates the quick and easy transfer of home-related data between different markets.
Policy brief outlining the HUD PowerSaver Pilot Loan Program.
This market snapshot of HVAC installation verification tools illustratively presents the categories and uses for the growing market of tools.
This HVAC verifications tool selection guide includes a cross-walk of tool categories with target user audience, benefits and features. This matrix can assist contractors, programs, utilities and others in selecting the appropriate resources to support installation and performance measurement.