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.
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The lack of documented value of retrofit measures is a barrier to many homeowners doing upgrades - as most appraisals do not include energy improvements in their comparables, and the home’s future sale can prevent the homeowner from earning a return on their investment via lower energy costs. Once the industry develops a process for valuing the energy improvements, it can unlock the significant potential for retrofit work through market pricing signals (energy efficient homes are worth more) and enhanced access to capital for those purchasing a more efficient home (energy efficient homes improve borrowers’ cashflow because they cost less to operate).