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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 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.
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 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 summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on challenges of energy upgrades in affordable and low-income multifamily properties.
Presentation describing AFC First's (a lender's) aggressive underwriting and smart product delivery as part of the Keystone HELP program.
Presentation describing NYSERDA's alternative underwriting approach for its target market.
This case study highlights Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit) low interest, on-bill financing and alternative underwriting practices which have achieved a low rejection rate while also maintaining a low loan default rate.
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.
Presentation describing San Jose Better Building program and tactics, including strategic partnerships, for reaching moderate income residents.
This webcast highlight effective efforts by state and local agencies, non-profits, and utilities to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE/RE) to low-income households.
This presentation includes a series of case studies to highlight effective efforts by state and local agencies, non-profits, and utilities to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE/RE) to low-income households. It explores the topic of linking and leveraging EE/RE programs for limited-income households, including the need to coordinate with other energy assistance programs.
This webcast in a multi-part series highlighting efforts by state and local agencies, non-profits, and utilities to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE/RE) to low-income communities.
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 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 presentation provides the results of a 1,600-person survey of mid- to high-income households conducted by Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) to gauge attitudes toward home improvements and energy efficiency upgrades.
Learn about the capabilities and services of existing contractors and training providers working in your market.
Communicate program results to contractor partners and workforce development stakeholders.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
This presentation discusses workforce development experiences with residential energy efficiency programs in Maryland, including early successes, work with moderate-income populations, partnerships with utilities and colleges, challenges, and lessons learned.
This presentation talks about Energy Upgrade California's Flex Path pilot program which offers a menu of upgrade options for homeowners to select. Its flexible approach has been popular with middle-income homeowners interested in upgrades.
Communicate pertinent results of evaluations to program staff, partners, and stakeholders.
Identify the right questions to ask, appropriate metrics to collect, and the processes needed to initiate third-party impact and process evaluations.
Identify and implement systems and tools that will support data collection and data quality necessary for effective evaluation.
This policy brief describes how NYSERDA's Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program increases access to financing through tiered underwriting criteria.
This report presents the findings of Phase 2 of the California Public Utilities Commission Low Income Needs Assessment Study. The results of the needs assessment suggest that, over time, the programs have effectively targeted and provided services to low-income households that have the greatest need.
Focus on the continuous improvement of your financing activities by tracking and evaluating data, responding to feedback, and modifying strategies when needed.
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.
Communicate the results of your financing activities to internal and external partners.
Launch your financing activities in coordination with other program components.
Establish an evaluation plan that will allow you to determine how your financing activities are impacting the market.
Develop a plan to implement your financing activities, with defined roles for financial institution partners, contractors, customers, and your program.
Develop the procurement, outreach, and loan support resources required to perform your financing activities.
Identify and partner with financial institutions that can provide capital, underwriting, and other functions to enable your customers to access financing.
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.
Establish goals, objectives, and timeframes for your financing activities.
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 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 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).
This paper describes the changes in indoor environmental quality (IEQ) conditions (air quality and thermal comfort conditions) from health and home performance improvements in 16 apartments serving low-income populations within three buildings in different California climates and seasons.
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.
Report that identifies and evaluates the sufficiency of available financing options to help low-income populations, particularly communities that have been historically overburdened by air pollution (i.e., "environmental justice communities"), invest in resource-saving measures, such as energy efficiency and water conservation.
This paper analyzes Bank of America's $55 million initiative to provide low-cost funding and grant support to advance energy efficiency investment in low- to moderate-income communities. The funding supported community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in developing and enhancing efficiency programs for residential, commercial, and multifamily buildings. We report on loan performance, energy savings, and the degree to which the savings offset the cost of the energy efficiency investment.
This report discusses how low income communities can be transformed through energy efficiency. Many of our fellow citizens face energy costs that are excessive compared with their overall incomes, yet they cannot afford to invest in the energy efficiency measures that would reduce their energy cost burden. Families nationwide are often forced to choose between necessities such as food or medications and paying their energy bills to heat and cool their homes. Private and public resources are available to help Americans, but these resources reach only a small percentage of underserved households.
Energy burden is the percentage of household income spent on home energy bills. In this report, ACEEE, along with the Energy Efficiency for All coalition, measures the energy burden of households in 48 of the largest American cities. The report finds that low-income, African-American, Latino, low-income multifamily, and renter households all spend a greater proportion of their income on utilities than the average family. The report also identifies energy efficiency as an underutilized strategy that can help reduce high energy burdens by as much as 30%. Given this potential, the report goes on to describe policies and programs to ramp up energy efficiency investments in low-income and underserved communities.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on strategies in building interest in and introducing energy efficiency to affordable housing.
This presentation describes non-energy benefits from energy efficiency upgrades in low-income households, draws from research on health and related benefits of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and tailors insights to Massachusetts.
Publicize benefits and lessons learned resulting from your organization’s success in the market.
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 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.
Establish or update your organizational mission, vision, and goals to encompass energy efficiency programs.
Identify and prioritize potential target audiences based on their likely receptivity to your program's services.
Implement marketing and outreach activities in coordination with other program components to generate demand for your program's services.
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.
This study assesses and monetizes a sub-set of non-energy benefits experienced by recipients of energy efficiency services residing in income-eligible households in MA, including: reduced asthma; reduced cold-related thermal stress; reduced heat-related thermal stress; reduced missed days at work; reduced use of short-term, high interest loans; increased home productivity due to improvements in sleep; reduced carbon monoxide poisoning; and reduced home fires.
This peer exchange call summary focused on messaging and delivery strategies of those messages to low-income program participants.
This report was developed to help inform national stakeholders about the strategies that have been used to achieve deep energy savings in the multifamily housing sector through energy efficiency upgrades. These strategies could be used as models in areas where utility program administrators and policymakers seek to achieve deep energy savings in the multifamily building stock for the purposes of reducing energy costs, creating comfortable and healthy homes, meeting regulatory requirements, or reducing the environmental impacts of energy consumption. This report includes a national multifamily market characterization, barriers and opportunities for program and policy efforts, and eight exemplary case studies from across the country.
The research described in this report holds great potential to significantly improve the process for including energy efficiency in developing and implementing federally funded multifamily rehabilitation projects through the USDA, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and other programs.
This literature review explores how residential energy efficiency and health interventions can confer positive economic, health, and environmental non-energy benefits at the individual and community level, thereby leading to significant savings while improving the quality of life and resiliency of low income households. The paper closes with policy recommendations to unlock the savings of non-energy benefits from smart energy efficient investments.
Energy efficiency data can inform real estate transactions – including underwriting and appraisal, but each sector relies on its own sets of tools, data and specifications. The Home Energy Information Accelerator addresses how reliable energy information can get into the hands of decision-makers, and what types of policy, technical, and other changes are needed to make energy information useful in the real estate transaction.
Pacific Power contracted with The Cadmus Group, Inc., to conduct impact and process evaluations of its Washington low-income weatherization program for the program period extending from March 2009 through February 2011. The impact evaluation assessed energy savings and cost-effectiveness associated with the program, and in doing so quantified select non-energy benefits. The process evaluation assessed program delivery and efficacy, potential bottlenecks, opportunities for improvements, and participants’ experiences and satisfaction with the program.
Provides a sample or preliminary term sheet for single family residential energy efficiency loans that can provide a basis for discussions and negotiations with prospective lending partners.
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.
Develop a strategy for communicating program impacts and benefits to key audiences to create and sustain support and engagement.
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.
Establish program goals and objectives to clarify what you want your program to achieve and to guide program design and implementation over time.
In 2009, California utilities were authorized to spend $240 million for their low-income energy efficiency [LIEE] programs, an increase of 53% over 2008. Further increases are expected in each of the following two years. The utilities set about making state-required changes intended to deepen their LIEE programs‟ impact and widen their reach.
Pennsylvania’s Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP) is a statewide, utility-sponsored, free residential energy usage reduction program designed to help low-income households lower their energy bills and reduce energy consumption through Weatherization and energy education services.
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....
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,...
Residential energy efficiency programs have found their marketing efforts are more successful when they craft their messaging to resonate with specific customer needs. A comprehensive evaluation of more than 140 programs across the United States found that programs had greater success when they identified and segmented primary target audiences within their target area and tailored outreach to those populations. ...
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building America research team, Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions Collaborative (ARIES), worked with four public housing authorities (PHAs) to develop packages of energy-efficiency retrofit measures that PHAs can cost-effectively implement with their own staffs during the normal course of housing operations when units are refurbished between occupancies. More than 1 million public housing units supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provide rental housing for eligible low-income families across the country, ranging from single-family houses to multifamily, high-rise apartments.
In this project, the U.S. Department of Energy Building America team Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR) worked with Elevate Energy on three tasks: to conduct pre- and post-retrofit analysis on the income and expense data of 13 Chicago-area multifamily buildings, to compare Chicago income and expense data to two national samples, and to explore the ramifications that energy-efficiency retrofits have on nine Chicago-area neighborhoods.
The purpose of this study is to furnish comprehensive information on ratepayer-funded low-income energy programs. This study includes information on and analysis of the energy needs of low-income households, the legal and regulatory framework supporting ratepayer-funded programs, program design options, and the findings from evaluations of program effectiveness.
The multifamily sector can be hard to reach when it comes to energy efficiency programs. Besides being diverse and complex, the sector presents a unique set of challenges to efficiency investments. The result is that multifamily customers are often underserved by energy efficiency programs. Drawing on data requests and interviews with program administrators, this report summarizes the challenges to program participation and identifies best practices that programs can use to reach and retain large numbers of multifamily participants.
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.
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.
This webinar covers the Multifamily Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Barriers and Opportunities for Deep Energy Savings report published in 2016.n
This presentation covers Elevate Energy's full service comprehensive approach for improving low income multifamily housing.
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.
Data release form that allows the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) to obtain customer utility account and actual energy usage data, energy costs, underwriting and loan repayment records, and data on energy savings measures installed.
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).
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on marketing techniques for lower income and other underrepresented populations.
This peer exchange call summary focused on what energy efficiency programs are doing to target low- and moderate-income households.
Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) conducted 1,600 phone surveys of mid- to high-income households. Its aim was to test program messaging and gauge attitudes toward home improvements and energy efficiency upgrades. The surveys provided a number of insights on the target audience's decision process.
Presentation aimed at program administrators that highlights the elements of an income statement, methods for forecasting costs and revenues, the importance of performance measurement, and potential revenue streams.
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 peer exchange call summary focused on leveraging effective partnerships for multi-family and low-income outreach and service delivery.
This peer exchange call summary focused on integrating income-qualified programs into neighborhood sweeps.