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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Focusing on Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a case study, the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America research team IBACOS suggests a win-win between a builder's investment in energy efficiency and that builder's ability to sell homes. Although this research did not ultimately determine why a correlation may exist, a builder's investment in voluntary energy-efficiency programs correlated with that builder's ability to survive the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. This report explores the relationship between energy-efficiency ratings and the market performance of several builders in Colorado Springs.