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 document profiles the Chicago-area non-profit Elevate Energy, which offers a full-service energy efficiency retrofit program for owners of and tenants in affordable multifamily buildings in eleven states.
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 case study features Better Buildings Residential Network members Elevate Energy and the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST), nonprofit members that develop energy efficiency solutions for multifamily and affordable housing communities.
This report explores how governments and energy efficiency implementers could help stakeholders better analyze and act upon building performance data to unlock savings.
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 case study addresses multifamily energy upgrade experiences by two members of the Better Buildings Residential Network—Elevate Energy and the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST).
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.
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 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 guide identifies 12 best practices for policymakers, regulators, and program administrators to help building owners invest to increase the energy efficiency of multifamily affordable housing.
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 describes existing barriers to integrating energy efficiency data into real estate markets, and illustrates recent efforts to address them. National cross-industry collaborations have resulted in standard data collection and transfer tools that allow home performance data to be shared across industries. Real estate markets in some regions have begun including these data into multiple listing services (MLS), making them visible during real estate transactions.
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.
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.
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.
In this video interview segment, Emily Levin of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation shares the importance of market research.
Outlines five public-private financing mechanism options for energy efficiency upgrades programs, including on-bill financing, PACE financing, and loan loss reserve funds.
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.
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.