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.
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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 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.
This document summarizes top marketing and outreach takeaways shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during spring 2015 Peer Exchange Calls.
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 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 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.
This publication summarizes some of the incentives offered by Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners.
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.
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 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.
This report from Climate Solutions analyzes small- to medium-sized American cities that are using successful methods to further clean energy economic development. Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners that are featured in the report include Bainbridge Island and Bremerton, Washington; Boulder, Colorado; Bedford, New York; Madison, Wisconsin; and Grand Rapids, Michigan. The report includes details on the how the featured cities funded their projects, found successful models to reach their goals, and to see which new projects are off to a promising start.
This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resource is intended to help state and local governments design finance programs for their jurisdiction. It describes financing program options, key components of these programs, and factors to consider as they make decisions about getting started or updating their programs.
This report describes different approaches to energy efficiency finance taken by utilities.
This report presents results, recommendations, and case studies of energy efficiency financing programs.
This paper, which is based on detailed case studies of nine existing state and local programs, presents recommendations for energy upgrade programs to facilitate industry growth and support contractor business models.
Summary of the standards that support job quality, equitable access and quality assurance in several residential energy efficiency programs from different parts of the country.