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.
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This report provides a comprehensive review and analysis of home energy upgrade programs with proven track records, focusing on those with robustly verified savings and constituting good examples for replication. This meta-analysis describes program models and implementation strategies for direct install upgrades; heating, HVAC replacement and early retirement; and comprehensive, whole-home upgrades.
Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design.
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 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.
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.
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 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 resource provides best practices and highlights case studies for how utilities, policymakers, building managers, and community stakeholders can improve access to energy usage data while working towards the goal of improving efficiency in their communities.
This policy brief provides insight into the transaction of an on-bill energy efficiency loan portfolio between two mission-oriented lenders, Craft3 in Oregon and Self Help in North Carolina.
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 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.
This publication summarizes some of the incentives offered by Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners.
In this video interview segment, Emily Levin of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation talks about how there is no silver bullet and its about creating a new industry, which takes time.
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 article, part of a series sponsored by Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, details the successes and lessons learned of the Neil Kelly Company. Over the past 63 years, the Neil Kelly Company has successfully navigated several economic downturns and has revamped its home performance division to emerge as a leader of sustainable building practices.
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 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.
In this video interview segment, Emily Levin of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation shares the importance of market research.
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.
Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit's) experience implementing an on-bill financing program.
This case study discusses the strategies Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit's) used to actively engage contractors to make the program successful (e.g., balancing contractors' work priorities, enforcing quality standards).
Outlines five public-private financing mechanism options for energy efficiency upgrades programs, including on-bill financing, PACE financing, and loan loss reserve funds.
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.
This guide provides an assessment of various approaches to Marketing & Outreach for home energy efficiency improvements.
This guide provides background on the home improvement market in the U.S. and Canada and end users and systems in existing homes, as well as a description of energy efficiency program approaches and strategies.
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.
This report summarizes the scale and economic value of energy efficiency for reducing carbon emissions and discusses barriers to achieving the potential for cost-effective energy efficiency.