This report explores the approaches and research needs identified in the Building Retrofit Industry and Market (BRIM) Initiative through in-depth discussion with residential energy upgrade experts including a discussion of Marketing & Outreach and the program/contractor interface.
The report summarizes a survey of realtors about sustainability issues facing the real estate industry nationally and regionally.
This report addresses a key bottleneck for private capital: lenders declining to underwrite energy efficiency loans for multifamily housing because they lack confidence in energy savings. It presents findings from an analysis of 230+ buildings, assesses total savings achieved and savings as a percentage of projections, and provides a starting point for an underwriting methodology.
The benefits of energy efficiency extend beyond energy savings. Homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities gain comfort, health, and safety benefits from energy efficiency programs. Additional benefits for businesses include savings on maintenance, materials, and the costs of regulatory compliance. On the supply side, electric utilities enjoy reduced system costs. Focusing on the residential, business, and utility sectors, this report examines each of these multiple benefits, their role in program marketing, and current best practices for including them in cost-effectiveness testing.
The purpose of this position paper is to introduce a new framework efficiency screening designed to address know problems with cost-effectiveness tests.
Low-income tenants bear a particularly large burden for energy costs. Because their costs nearly equal those of higher income renters, energy accounts for larger shares of their incomes and overall housing costs. In 2011, more than one-fourth of all renter households had incomes below $15,000. These lowest-income renters devoted $91 per month to tenant paid utilities, while renters with incomes above $75,000 paid $135.
The Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy is intended to give policymakers, regulators, efficiency proponents, program administrators and other stakeholders a comparative view of the progress of energy efficiency policies and programs across the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region. Along with state-level highlights, the report examines regional trends and shared challenges in harnessing the potential of energy efficiency to meet today’s pressing energy and environmental challenges.
This report summarizes research assessing national and regional residential behavior-based energy efficiency (BBEE) programs and activities to identify best practices. The report emphasizes that a basic foundation for behavior change is providing energy consumers with feedback on their energy consumption, with customer engagement strategies and tactics employed to get customers to take action and drive greater levels of energy savings.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program worked with a subset of its projects undertaking Consumer Behavior Studies (CBS) to examine the response of mass market consumers (i.e., residential and small commercial customers) to time-based electricity rate programs, in conjunction with the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and associated technologies. The effort presents an opportunity to advance the electric industry's understanding of consumer behavior. This preliminary report summarizes experiences of the different phases of the enrollment process (qualification, solicitation, recruitment, and selection) across nine of the ten SGIG utilities, who collectively undertook 11 consumer behavior studies. It also provides experimental and descriptive results and lessons learned.
This report explores energy efficiency programs that target deep energy savings through substantial improvements to existing residential buildings.
This publication offers a roadmap to help policymakers and practitioners design and implement a comprehensive residential retrofit strategy. It presents eight principles for success based on two decades of international experience, designed to achieve the level of energy savings that will be needed to address the challenge of climate change.
This guide/toolkit provides step-by-step recommendations on how policymakers can go about devising successful energy disclosure policies. It discusses the who, what, where, when, why, and, most importantly, how, for creating disclosure policies for the residential sector.
This report looks into residential lighting savings assumptions found in Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs) throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to understand what values were being used for key metrics such as hours of use, delta watt, and measure life. It provides the opportunity to view completed Standardized Methods Forms to compare evaluation methodology and results.
The Residential Retrofit Program Design Guide focuses on the key elements and design characteristics of building and maintaining a successful residential energy upgrade program. The material is presented as a guide for program design and planning from start to finish, laid out in chronological order of program development.
Given the many priorities state and local governments and residents face following a disaster, integrating energy efficiency and resiliency into residential rebuilding can be a challenge. Fortunately, research into state experience with energy-efficient and resilient rebuilding in the residential sector has revealed several key strategies that other state and local communities can employ to mitigate the impacts of a natural disaster and plan for coordinated and effective disaster recovery. This report focuses on the experiences of State and Territory Energy Offices as leaders and key players in the rebuilding process.
This document provides an overview of the National Efficiency Screening Project's recommendations for using the Resource Value Framework (RVF) to improve cost-effectiveness testing. The RVF is a collection of principles and recommendations to provide guidance for states to develop and implement tests that are consistent with sound principles and best practices.
This podcast episode explores sustainability and the unexpected benefits of energy efficiency with guest Jonathan Cohen, U.S. Department of Energy.
This report describes how customer usage data can help promote the adoption of retro-commissioning polices for public and private commercial buildings.
This report provides an overview of evaluation, measurement, and verification approaches used to estimate the load impacts and effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.
This report presents a review of selected home energy auditing tools. The energy audit tools reviewed in this study include REM/Rate, BEACON Home Energy Advisor, EnergyInsights, Home Energy Tune-uP, EnergyGauge, TREAT, the National Energy Audit Tool (NEAT), Home Energy Saver Professional (HESPro), and RealHomeAnalyzer.
This report provides information for states intending to set up a new revolving loan fund for state energy programs.
As part of the Rhode Island Energy Challenge, National Grid called on its Rhode Island residential electric and gas customers to take a pledge to “Find Your Four” as part of a statewide community initiative to encourage homeowners to find four ways to save energy at home. A participant survey revealed that Rhode Island residential customers liked hearing energy conservation/efficiency information via the Challenge; the Challenge had them thinking and acting differently; and the Challenge had customers participating more actively in energy efficiency programs. This report provides more information on the campaign’s major impact in helping National Grid accomplish important goals, including those related to portfolio savings and customer-centric program outreach and engagement.
This report lays out a national vision for overcoming many of the barriers to comprehensive home energy improvements. The authors review a range of energy efficiency policies and programs, then analyze three funding and policy scenarios to gauge their long-term impacts on the market for home energy upgrades.
This whitepaper showcases how local governments and organizations promote energy efficiency through policies and program partnerships. Presents eight case studies from communities across the country, including two Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners (Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) and Energy Impact Illinois).
This fact sheet discusses how energy efficiency helps families use less energy to meet their energy needs, such as heating and cooling their homes, washing clothes, and watching television. Investing in efficiency saves money in utility bills while providing families with many other benefits.
Energy efficiency is good for you--and for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the community in which you live. This fact sheet shows how saving energy reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources, which in turn creates a healthier living environment for people everywhere. It includes the stories of a family in Pennsylvania and a hospital in Florida.
This policy brief describes the energy efficiency financing options programs can use to help financial institutions make energy upgrades affordable and accessible to homeowners.
This report provides an assessment of the current landscape of multifamily energy efficiency programs in the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest multifamily housing markets. The authors describe spending on utility customer-funded programs for the primary utilities in each metropolitan area. Additionally, they identify the specific opportunity in each metropolitan area to scale up multifamily programs based on a three-part analysis of: (1) local housing market characteristics; (2) the scope of current utility customer-funded energy efficiency programs; and (3) the statewide policy environment and potential for local partnerships with non-utility-funded energy efficiency programs.
This report presents the results of a scoping study to assess the need for national databases that can support best practices in energy efficiency program evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V).
This guide for states highlights energy efficiency as a least-cost strategy to meet air pollution reduction and other policy objectives, including energy affordability and reliability. It presents established policy and program “pathways” to advance demand-side energy efficiency.
This guide supports the development, maintenance, and use of accurate and reliable Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs). TRMs provide information to estimate the energy and demand savings of end-use energy efficiency measures associated with utility customer-funded efficiency programs. This guide describes existing TRMs in the United States and provides recommendations for TRM best practices. It also offers related background information on energy efficiency; evaluation, measurement, and verification; and TRM basics.
This report helps policymakers understand how electric and natural gas utilities can achieve greater efficiency by establishing numeric energy savings targets and goals for energy efficiency programs.
This report provides information and tools for policymakers, regulators, utilities, shared renewable energy developers, program administrators and others to support the adoption and implementation of shared renewables programs specifically designed to provide tangible benefits to low income and moderate income individuals and households.
Home energy management systems (HEMS) continue to present a unique opportunity and challenge. While energy savings have been documented for many HEMS, some of the most promising opportunities from these devices and systems can be found in the internet of things (IoT) and smart home technologies. This report presents market updates, a regional goal, and strategies to drive market transformation and achieve the many benefits from HEMS and the Smart Energy Home.
This DOE webpage provides an introduction to how home energy management systems can fit into broader smart home and grid modernization efforts.
This report explains the psychology of individual energy efficiency actions, and how large scale behavior change programs can use this research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) has prepared this assessment of the Southeast’s multifamily sector to better understand the current stock of multifamily units; regional and state multifamily construction trends; utility multifamily energy efficiency programs; and state and local policies and programs focused on the multifamily sector.
These standard work specifications define minimum requirements for upgrade work and can be used as an industry guide for workers, training instructors, and program administrators involved in the home performance industry.
A number of states are beginning to recognize Demand Reduction Induced Price Effects (DRIPE) as a real, quantifiable benefit of energy efficiency and demand response programs. DRIPE is a measurement of the value of demand reductions in terms of the decrease in wholesale energy prices, resulting in lower total expenditures on electricity or natural gas across a given grid. This paper reviews the existing knowledge and experience from select U.S. states regarding DRIPE (including New York and Ohio), and the potential for expanded application of the concept of DRIPE by regulators.
This report summarizes ongoing and recent policy developments that support utility investments in energy efficiency, including program cost recovery, fixed cost recovery, and performance incentives for electric utilities on a state-by-state basis.
For this inventory, EIA reviewed and catalogued 329 data sources containing state energy efficiency program evaluation results into an inventory. The focus of this inventory is to support the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) and to research cost information in state-mandated energy efficiency program evaluations.
Program Design Lessons Learned (Volume 1) draws on the insights DOE gathered from its more than 4 years of administering State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP) and analyzing the nearly 1.8 million rebates and the associated reporting from the 56 state and territory programs.
Program Results (Volume 2) includes program impacts reports summarizing individual state and overall results of the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP)
These 16 state-specific fact sheets report on the results of the Residential Energy Consumption Survey. The fact sheets highlight: overall energy use, electricity use, and expenditures; residential consumption by end use (air conditioning, heating, appliances); main heating fuel; use of cooling equipment; housing types and year of construction; and numbers of televisions and refrigerators.
EPA released the updated State and Local Guide to U.S. EPA Climate and Energy Program Resources, a guide designed for state and local government staff that describes EPA programs and resources that can help them develop or expand their own energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives or meet regulatory requirements.
The snapshots present a capsule view of each state's key LIHEAP characteristics, as well as details of its non-federal low-income energy programs (state- and utility-funded, and charitable).
NEEP has been tracking the residential lighting market for several years and has provided analysis in many reports. As the transformation of this complex market gains traction, we find the conversation and need for new information narrowing to one key topic: LEDs. While CFLs continue to play a role in residences and amongst Northeast and Mid-Atlantic program administrators, the LED has transitioned into the starring role of the residential lighting show.
This report provides comprehensive information on state, federal, local, and utility incentives and policies that are in place to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
This guide discusses the findings of research in moving existing companies, with a focus on HVAC, to deliver more comprehensive energy saving upgrade services. It also helps the industry understand the business processes and strategies for transitioning to such an approach.
This report identifies sustainable funding sources for asthma-related home interventions. It examines the business case and return on investment for interventions that remedy triggers that can exacerbate asthma.
The Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors provides tips to hiring a contractor, warnings about inexperienced contractors, and information on contracting license requirements and how to verify a license certificate.
This paper explores the drivers of energy use behaviors and the behavior‐based programs adopted by utilities charged with reducing the energy consumption of their residential and small commercial customers. It also presents researchable recommendations on how utilities can improve the effectiveness of behavior‐based energy programs.
This article discusses alternative formats for training students on building science, energy assessments, and energy efficiency upgrade installation. These include using videos instead of class lectures, maximizing hands-on activities, using social learning, and learning from games.
This technical brief presents trends in the cost of saved electricity for energy efficiency programs between 2009 and 2013. For this report, LBNL collected and analyzed more than 5,400 program years of data collected in 36 states from 78 administrators of programs funded by customers of investor-owned utilities. These administrators provide efficiency programs to customers of investor-owned utilities that serve about half of total U.S. electricity load.
This report describes ACEEE's Deep South Ethnographic Project, which aimed to answer an overarching question: are end-users of energy in the Southeastern states interested in energy efficiency? This report includes the demographics of ACEEE's informants and responses to a set of questions about energy usage, bills, and money. The report also includes individual case studies from five different sites.
This report discusses the five standard tests used to assess the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency, how states use the tests, and how the tests can determine the cost-effectiveness of efficiency measures.
This report provides a set of model protocols for determining energy and demand savings that result from specific energy efficiency measures or programs. The methods described are among the most commonly used approaches in the energy efficiency industry for certain measures or programs; they draw from the existing body of research and best practices for energy efficiency evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V).
This paper establishes the size of the potential retrofit market in the United States, and examines the emergence of new financing models that offer the promise of overcoming historical barriers to energy efficiency.
This report presents findings from an impact evaluation of the Universal Audit Tool (UAT). UAT programs provide residential customers with advice on energy efficiency, insight into areas of high energy use, and tips and suggestions for saving both energy and money based on responses to an online survey regarding household appliances, occupancy, and other dwelling characteristics.
With so much to gain, how can we optimize low-income energy efficiency programs to maximize the benefits for financially vulnerable citizens, as well as program implementers and the broader population of ratepayers? This paper shares four important lessons for engaging low-income customers based on Opower’s experience in partnering with utilities to serve the low-income population.
This paper describes the stakes and stakeholders involved in greening the MLS systems, analyzes the challenges involved, and summarizes what the green building stakeholder community can learn from a collaborative approach to greening MLS systems. This discussion concludes with a proposed framework for replicating collaborative stakeholder approaches, and suggests we are close to a breakthrough where states can now truly draw from the precedents to implement changes with speed and to scale.
This white paper provides energy efficiency program sponsors and other stakeholders in the home performance industry with methods to document efficiency improvements and incorporate them into the real estate value chain. Making information about energy efficiency improvements visible to home buyers and others involved in a home sale transaction will play a crucial role in ensuring that improvements are fairly valued at the time an existing home is sold.
This report describes how utility planning processes that allow demand-side resources to compete with supply-side resources can promote cost-effective energy efficiency.
This is the first study to provide statistical evidence that, holding other factors constant, a green label on a single-family home in California provides a market premium compared to a comparable home without the label. The research also indicates that the price premium is influenced by local climate and environmental ideology. To reach these conclusions, researchers conducted an economic analysis of 1.6 million homes sold in California between 2007 and 2012, controlling for other variables known to influence home prices in order to isolate the added value of green home labels.
This article discusses valuing high performance houses in the appraisal process.
Among the many benefits ascribed to energy efficiency is the fact that it can help create jobs. Although this is often used to motivate investments in efficiency programs, verifying job creation benefits is more complicated than it might seem at first. This paper identifies some of the issues that contribute to a lack of consistency in attempts to verify efficiency-related job creation. It then proposes an analytically rigorous and tractable framework for program evaluators to use in future assessments.
This radio interview highlights how the NeighborWorks program in Vermont is raising awareness of home energy efficiency measures among residents through neighbor-to-neighbor outreach.
Developed as part of the Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA), this report provides overall housing utility and energy statistics for Washington, and details the type and efficiency of various components such as windows, insulation, appliances and type of heating fuel used in homes with each region of the state.
This report summarizes findings from a national field study of indoor air quality in homes treated under the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The study tested and monitored 514 single-family homes in 35 states and served by 88 local weatherization agencies. The study focused on five indoor environmental quality parameters: carbon monoxide, radon, formaldehyde, indoor temperature and humidity, and indoor moisture.
Homebuyers are not only increasingly interested in high-performance homes, or homes incorporating green features, but they are also willing to pay more for them. This report finds that high-performance homes marketed with green features (such as a solar photovoltaic array or LEED certification) sell for a mean premium of 3.46 percent compared to homes without green features.
This report presents results, recommendations, and case studies of energy efficiency financing programs.
This article presents the results of a household survey that showed many homeowners have not had an energy audit, and many of those who have, have not followed through with recommended upgrades.
This article highlights the importance of communicating to homeowners about the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency improvements such as better comfort, improved indoor air quality, reduced allergies, and a safer, healthy home. It also discussed that non-energy benefits are an undervalued and often overlooked component of energy efficiency upgrades and need to be a part of energy efficiency program's and contractors' sales strategies.
This pamphlet from the California Contractors State License Board provides general advice for hiring a contractor and a construction project checklist.
This report identifies and discusses factors that should be considered in evaluating model choices for administering and implementing ratepayer funded energy efficiency programs.
This article and recruiting presentation highlights reasons why it makes sense for an HVAC contractor to move into home performance, and provides program staff with key touch points to consider in considering potential contractor partners.
This blog post outlines basic needs for a successful marketing program: a plan; a budget; and to launch, track, evaluate, adjust, repeat.
This article covers how the most effective marketing is what works best for your contractors and that as a basic starting point, they need a plan and a budget. Then they need to launch, track and evaluate results, adjust, and iterate.