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Author: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Publication Date: 2016

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.

Communicate program results to contractor partners and workforce development stakeholders.

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.

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.

Author: Dave Hatchimonji, EnergySmart
Publication Date: 2014

Overview of lessons learned from EnergySmart Colorado's energy advisor model.

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

In this video interview segment, Yvonne Kraus of Conservation Services Group describes how energy advisors were an important strategy for building trust with customers in the community.

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

This case study discusses Denver Energy Challenge's adjustment from focusing on door-to-door outreach to an energy advisor model that allowed customers to receive one on one support throughout the home energy upgrade process.

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

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

In this video interview segment, Ludy Biddle with Neighborworks of Western Vermont describes the benefits of one-on-one communications between customers and the Neighborhood H.E.A.T. Squad program's energy advisors.

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

Establish metrics and measurement strategies for understanding whether you are effectively achieving your program goals and meeting your customers’ needs, while identifying areas that can be improved.

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

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: 2013

This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on energy advising and concierge services without American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants.

Author: EnergySmart
Publication Date: 2013

Example survey about a homeowner's experience with a visit from an energy advisor as part of EnergySmart in Boulder County, Colorado.

Develop a plan to implement your financing activities, with defined roles for financial institution partners, contractors, customers, and your program.

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.

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.

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: Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit)
Publication Date: 2012

This presentation from Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) covers their "One-Stop Shop" Home Energy Remodel process where customers were guided through a four-step process: apply, assess, finance, and transform. This simple process gave customers access to a comprehensive package of services that included assistance from an independent energy advisor.

Author: Jonathan Cohen, U.S. Department of Energy; Ryan Clemmer, Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit); Melanie Paskevich, NeighborWorks; Jay Karwoski, ICF International
Publication Date: 2012

This webcast includes slides and information on programs' use of concierge programs to support contractors. It highlights two program examples: Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) and Vermont NeighborWorks.

Concierge Programs for Contractors - They're Not Just for Consumers Anymore
Author: Jonathan Cohen, U.S. Department of Energy; Ryan Clemmer, Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit); Melanie Paskevich, NeighborWorks; Jay Karwoski, ICF International
Publication Date: 2012
Presentation

This webcast includes slides and information on programs' use of concierge programs to support contractors. It highlights two program examples: Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) and Vermont NeighborWorks.

Author: Kat Donnelly, EMpowerDevices; Kerry O'Neill, Earth Markets
Publication Date: 2012

Connecticut's Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge uses dashboards that display key project data for administrators and contractors to monitor progress over time. The program has evaluated performance at different steps in the process and identified strategies to improve performance where needed, such as sales training for contractors, energy advisors, monthly contractor scorecards, and multiple customer "touches." These improvements increased the close rate from 26 to 60 percent in one year.

Author: U.S. Department of Energy
Publication Date: 2010

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.

Residential energy efficiency programs across the United States have found that providing homeowners with a single point of contact increases the likelihood of an upgrade being completed and increases customer satisfaction levels. Often called an energy advisor or energy coach, this professional assists the homeowner through every step of the upgrade process and can provide a variety of services to help customers overcome the traditional barriers to completing a home energy upgrade. ...

Successful residential energy efficiency programs find that timely follow-up after an outreach push can help convert leads into customers. After customers receive an energy assessment, contacting them via phone or email can also boost the number of upgrades completed. ...

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...

Successful residential energy efficiency programs use data collection, transfer, and storage systems to effectively implement activities and track program metrics. While systems based on simple spreadsheets can be easy to develop, such systems may not be suitable as program scale increases. Programs across the country have found immense value from investing the time and resources required to create an information technology (IT) system to regularly monitor progress and automate time-intensive...

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. ...

Just as no two houses are the same, homeowners have different upgrade needs, time constraints, and budgets. A comprehensive evaluation of more than 140 residential energy efficiency programs across the United States found that successful programs offered participants more than one option for home energy assessments. Some have found that more comprehensive assessments can motivate customers to undertake deeper energy upgrades. For others, low-cost, less time-intensive assessments can attract...

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...