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Author: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Publication Date: 2017

This case study highlights the low-income programs of Efficiency Vermont, the nation’s first public energy efficiency utility, which aims to reduce these customers' high energy burden, freeing up money that they can spend on food, housing, and other necessities. These low-income programs have saved enough electricity to power nearly 8,000 Vermont households for a year and offer solutions that eliminate or reduce up-front costs for residents, a typical barrier to improving energy efficiency in low-income households. Its multifamily energy efficiency program helps renters and building owners save energy, addressing the “split incentive” barrier in which owners have little reason to invest in efficiency measures that benefit tenants who pay their own energy bills.

Author: Energize New York
Publication Date: 2017

With project funding from Energize NY PACE and incentives from NYSERDA's Multifamily program, Natlew Corporation was able to make energy efficiency upgrades to their multifamily affordable housing complex in Mount Vernon, NY.

Author: Becky Schaaf, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future; Dick Santangelo, Apollo Engineering Solutions; Stefen Samarripas, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Publication Date: 2017

This presentation provides an overview of ACEEE's nationwide study of utility provider incentives for the multifamily buildings sector, as well as a broad overview of other sources of funds for energy and water conservation. This session covered the latest news regarding state energy programs, local green banks, weatherization funds, tax credits, and more.

Author: NYSERDA
Publication Date: 2017

This manual was developed for participating New York Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) contractors. It contains information regarding program rules, incentives, and forms. The purpose of this manual is to help contractors understand and navigate the HPwES program.

Author: NYSERDA
Publication Date: 2017

New York Home Performance with ENERGY STAR offers a series of training videos for new contractors covering topics such as creating processes and procedures to manage projects, consumer incentives and financing options, and Quality Assurance (QA) inspections.

Author: Natural Resources Defense Council
Publication Date: 2017

This report examines the history of pay-for-performance (P4P) energy efficiency approaches. As the report describes, there is a diverse spectrum of pay-for-performance programs but, at the most basic level, these programs track and reward energy savings as they occur, usually by examining data from a building's energy meters -- as opposed to the more common approach of estimating savings in advance of installation and offering upfront rebates or incentives in a lump-sum payment. The report finds that P4P has some important opportunities for increasing energy savings, but also key limitations that will need to be better understood through piloting and experimentation.

Author: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Publication Date: 2016

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.

Author: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Publication Date: 2016

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.

Enhance Your Home Inspection Business with Home Energy Score
Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2016
Media

Using the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) free Home Energy Score, home inspectors can provide a miles-per-gallon type rating to their clients. By offering the rating and accompanying recommendations for efficiency improvements, home inspectors can help clients become eligible for mortgage incentives from FHA.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2016

This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on combining energy and health-related services.

Author: NYC MayorÕs Office of Sustainability
Publication Date: 2016

This handbook is a resource for building owners, building staff, co-op and condo board members, property managers, and all other building decision-makers to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings by understanding the most effective energy conservation measures. This resource introduces the basic principles of energy efficiency, incentive programs, available financing, relevant local laws, and technical training programs designed to reduce energy use and GHG emissions in New York CityÕs diverse multifamily building stock.

Author: State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network
Publication Date: 2015

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.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2015

The Better Buildings Residential Network Designing Incentives Toolkit can help residential energy efficiency programs design incentives that motivate potential customers to act by lowering the risk, decreasing the cost, or offering additional benefits with home energy upgrades. This toolkit provides easy access to various case studies, presentations, and tips related to incentive design.

Author: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Publication Date: 2015

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) developed this manual for use by contractors participating in their New York Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program. The manual is intended to help contractors understand and navigate the HPwES program. It provides important information about HPwES program rules, opportunities, incentives, and forms. The manual is an example of a comprehensive contractor handbook in which programs will find many useful examples of forms, procedures, and other resources.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2015

This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on what residential energy efficient programs and strategies worked well in rural populations.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2015

This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on types of incentives.

Author: Affordable Housing Energy Efficiency Alliance
Publication Date: 2014

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.

Monitor the effectiveness of contractor and workforce development efforts, motivate improvement, address low performers, and adapt on a regular basis.

Communicate program results to contractor partners and workforce development stakeholders.

 Implement contractor coordination and workforce recruitment and training in concert with other program components

Determine processes for collecting and sharing data about key contractor metrics and workforce development activities.

Develop contractor engagement, quality assurance, and workforce development plans that include strategies, workflow, timelines, and staff and partner roles and responsibilities.

Develop workforce and contractor engagement procedures, forms, and materials

Establish relationships with contractors who will deliver program products and services, and with organizations that train and certify workers.

Solidify your program strategy and decide which customers you will focus on; what products, services, and support you will provide; and how you will partner with contractors and others to deliver services to your customers.

Support and partner with the workforce who will deliver your program’s energy efficiency services by understanding their capacity, recruiting contractor partners, enabling technical training and business development support, fostering clear communication, and refining program processes over time, in partnership with your workforce.

Establish objectives, targets, and timeframes for your program to support local contractors and the type and quality of service they provide to help meet your program’s goals.

Author: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Publication Date: 2014

The Database for Incentives and Joint Marketing Exchange (DIME) is an online, searchable tool to help manufacturers and retailers identify incentive and marketing opportunities for promoting ENERGY STAR certified products, and to enable all partners to coordinate with the appropriate contact from other partner organizations on promotional opportunities.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy; North Carolina Solar Center
Publication Date: 2014

This database provides comprehensive information on state, federal, local, and utility incentives and policies that are in place to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Develop processes, strategies, and procedures to continuously improve your organization’s operations and position in the market.

Publicize benefits and lessons learned resulting from your organization’s success in the market.

Identify and develop needed resources to position your organization in the market and maintain a viable business model.

Monitor the effectiveness of marketing and outreach strategies and adapt as needed.

Author: New Jersey Clean Energy
Publication Date: 2014

This presentation provides an overview of New Jersey Clean Energy's approach to contractor engagement, including contractor participation requirements, procedures for quality assurance and quality control, production incentives, training procedures, and an online contractor portal.

Improve your program’s efficiency and effectiveness through regular information collection, assessment, decision-making, adaptation, and communication.

Research and analyze the specific barriers, needs, and opportunities for a residential energy efficiency program in your community.

Ensure a positive customer experience with your program from launch through implementation over time.

Develop a detailed plan for launching and operating your program that integrates all program components into a process that is customer-friendly and efficient for contractors and other partners.

Develop the necessary materials, tools, and staff capacity to effectively deliver and manage your program.

Establish relationships with organizations that can help deliver your program by enhancing your knowledge, resources, capabilities and access to customers and contractors.

Solidify your program strategy and decide which customers you will focus on; what products, services, and support you will provide; and how you will partner with contractors and others to deliver services to your customers.

Design a residential energy efficiency program that integrates marketing and outreach, contractor coordination, incentives, financing, and program evaluation to provide customers with the products and services they want through a customer-centric process.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2014

This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on challenges and strategies related to split incentives for tenants and landlords.

Learn about the capabilities and services of existing contractors and training providers working in your market.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2013

This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on shared funding arrangements with contractors.

Develop evidence-based insights into your program’s performance through third-party process and impact evaluations. Learn how to develop effective data collection strategies and timely evaluations to identify important program achievements as well as opportunities for making program improvements.

Author: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Publication Date: 2013

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.

Determine how your target audience currently funds energy efficiency services, to what extent upfront cost is a barrier, and whether improvements to their financing options would increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures.

Determine if enhancements to existing financing products or the development of new products are necessary to allow you to achieve your goals and objectives.

Ensure that your program’s customers will have access to affordable financing, so they can pay for the services you offer.

Survey existing and potential demand for energy efficiency products and services based on an understanding of policies, housing and energy characteristics, demographics, related initiatives and other market actors.

Create your organization’s business plan, which describes how your operational and financial structure will support the delivery of energy efficiency services.

Define your business model, including market position, products and services, type of customers, financial model, governance structure, and the assets and infrastructure your organization needs.

Identify and engage organizational partners in your business model design.

Identify your organization's preferred market position by assessing existing market actors, gaps, competitors, and potential partners.  Develop a business model that will allow you to deliver energy efficiency services.

Identify and prioritize potential target audiences based on their likely receptivity to your program's services.

Communicate marketing and outreach results internally and to partners.

Implement marketing and outreach activities in coordination with other program components to generate demand for your program's services.

Develop a plan and metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing and outreach strategies. 

Develop a marketing and outreach plan that details your strategies and tactics, workflows and timelines, staff roles and responsibilities, and budget.

Create your program's branding guidelines and materials to elevate program visibility and support your marketing and outreach efforts.

Establish relationships with organizations that will assist with program marketing and outreach.

Decide on priority target audience segments, messages, and incentives that will motivate customers.

Spur consumer demand for your program's services by understanding your target audience and motivating them to act using effective messaging, marketing and outreach tactics, and attractive program offers.

Author: Rachael P Fredericks, PSE&G
Publication Date: 2013

This presentation provides an overview of PSE&G's Multifamily Housing Program, highlighting drivers, incentive structure, results, and lessons learned.

Author: Institute for Electric Efficiency
Publication Date: 2013

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.

Author: Mark Zimring, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Matthew Brown and Dave Carey, Harcourt Brown & Carey
Publication Date: 2013

This presentation provides background information on energy efficiency financing barriers and opportunities. These barriers may include lack of confidence in energy savings, renter/owner split incentives, long paybacks, and high up-front costs. The presentation also includes five areas of opportunity for SEE Action Financing Solutions Working Group activities.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2012

This publication summarizes some of the incentives offered by Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners.

Author: Megan Billingsley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: 2012

This presentation provides lessons to ensure effective incentive structures.

Author: Mary Templeton, BetterBuildings for Michigan
Publication Date: 2012

Presentation on how Michigan Saves realigned its incentives to encourage more projects with significant energy savings potential.

Author: Efficiency Maine
Publication Date: 2012

This presentation from Efficiency Maine shows early adopters and higher income residents tend to take advantage of large incentives, but smaller incentives may be a way to engage a broader range of income levels.

Author: National Home Performance Council
Publication Date: 2012

A pro forma is a tool of forecasting the impact that adjustments to a business model can have on future financials, using a set of assumptions and inputs. In the residential energy efficiency industry, programs can use pro forma tools to forecast the impact that marketing campaigns, incentive re-structuring, or other program changes will have on the program budget and results.  Example assumptions include the number of homeowner registrations that a set of marketing activities generate in a year, average assessment to upgrade conversion rate, and average incentive per project. By applying assumptions such as these, a pro forma tool can also help your program determine how effective various strategies are at achieving program goals and objectives. Program administrators can help contractors by supporting them with their own business pro forma. To help you get started, here are a few useful resources: the National Home Performance Council developed a presentation on their Integrated Pro Forma Project; for an example program pro forma, see the presentation by Virginia’s Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP-VA); the National Home Performance Council also developed the Contractor Pro Forma Tool.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2012

This case study describes Efficiency Maine's Home Energy Savings Program (HESP), one of the few large residential energy efficiency programs that has attempted to navigate the transition from rebate-focused offerings to financing focused offerings that better align with its limited budget.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2012

This case study discusses BetterBuildings for Michigan's targeted outreach campaigns which applied varying incentives and outreach strategies to neighborhoods with a goal to understand which rebates and strategies work best in the target communities.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2012

This case study discusses how Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) used performance-based incentives, limited-time bonus rebates, early financing approvals, and seasonal advantages to broaden its program reach and increase home upgrade completions.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2012

Find out how JEA successfully increased interest in its low-interest loan program beyond a short-term incentive.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2012

This peer exchange call summary focused on strategies and challenges of working with rental property owners and tenants on multifamily upgrades.

Author: Jonathan Doochin, U.S. Green Data Inc.
Publication Date: 2012

This presentation highlights research from U.S. Green Data showing that it is important to pique consumers' interest with incentives, but that their effectiveness can be maximized by making them simple, focusing on people "ready to purchase," and educating consumers about the value of energy efficiency.

Author: Jared Asch, Efficiency First
Publication Date: 2011

This presentation describes strategies for outreach to energy contractors and auditors, including contractor incentives.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2011

This peer exchange call summary focused on developing rebate/incentive programs to generate a demand for sustainable programs and products.

Author: National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency
Publication Date: 2010

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.

Designing Effective Incentives to Drive Residential Retrofit Program Participation
Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2010
Presentation, Media, Transcript

This webcast covers information about designing effective incentives to drive residential retrofit program participation.

Author: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Publication Date: 2010

Two visual flow charts, one that illustrates the process starting with customer interest to final incentive payment, and another that illustrates the program's quality assurance process.

Author: National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency
Publication Date: 2009

This report summarizes the issues and approaches involved in motivating customers to reduce the total energy they consume through energy prices and rate design.

Author: National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency
Publication Date: 2007

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.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2007

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.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy

This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on working with multifamily and rental properties on energy efficiency programs. It features speakers from  American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Community Housing Partners, and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships.

Residential energy efficiency programs striving to improve conversion rates from customer interest to completed upgrades have realized that contractors are typically the primary link between customers and their programs. Many successful programs have empowered contractors to promote program services through sales training and co-marketing. A comprehensive evaluation of over 140 programs across the United States found that successful programs have contractors who are skilled at helping...

Piquing customers’ interest in an energy-efficient home is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to encouraging upgrades. Many programs struggle to reach their upgrade goals because they allow initially excited customers to lose interest. By incentivizing specific actions for homeowners to take, however, program administrators can motivate customers to undertake upgrades. Successful residential energy efficiency programs have found that incentivizing specific actions or energy...

With all the other things that compete for homeowners’ time and attention, programs that simplify the upgrade process for customers and streamline processes are the ones that get results. Programs can encourage and motivate action by making participation straightforward and easy and providing energy advisors to walk customers through the process. ...

Energy upgrades can make homes safer and reduce residents’ health risks. Because energy efficiency programs help improve residents’ quality of life, their missions are consistent with other organizations focused on public health, low-income housing, or local economic development. Following is a sample of how successful residential energy efficiency programs have leveraged the complementary benefits of energy efficiency to create new partnership opportunities and funding sources....

Looking to appeal to a broader range of diverse residential energy efficiency customers? Consider offering a select number of program options with different levels of cost and complexity. According to a comprehensive evaluation of more than 140 programs across the United States, programs that offer several paths for customers to upgrade their homes were found to have greater participation and to generate higher energy savings. ...

Once home energy upgrades are underway, energy efficiency programs want to avoid call-backs and enhance their reputation. Because the quality of work that affiliated contractors conduct in customers’ homes reflects on the whole program, it’s important to ensure quality work; however, verifying a consistent level of quality can be challenging. Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Sponsors have found that having a clear process for...

The upfront cost of an energy upgrade can derail homeowners interested in home performance improvements.  One program strategy for making projects more affordable is to offer financing; however, complicated loan application and approval processes can cause delays. Streamlining the loan application process is an effective way to remove this process barrier. By reducing the number of requirements that homeowners must meet to secure a loan, and by accelerating loan application processing,...

Financing allows homeowners to pay for energy improvements over time and invest in higher-cost upgrades than they might be able to afford without it. Some programs offer tiered financing or rebates to encourage upgrades with deeper savings, with terms that grow more favorable as more energy saving measures are pursued. Tiered financing can encourage customers to pursue more ambitious projects. ...

Financial incentives—from rebates to lower interest rates—can help residential energy efficiency programs attract customers’ attention. Deadlines can create a sense of urgency and motivate homeowners to action on home energy upgrades. Many programs successfully established time limits on financial incentives and saw participation dramatically increase. ...