This study provides an overview of practices for quantifying and reporting avoided energy-water costs from demand-side measures. It also summarizes the regulatory guidance for incorporating water savings into cost-effectiveness screening for energy efficiency programs.
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Energy Trust of Oregon’s contractor selection tips provide several considerations for choosing an energy efficiency contractor.
State and local governments across the U.S. are focused on how clean energy can help them meet a variety of energy, economic development, and environmental goals. An early step for most energy efficiency planning involves identifying and quantifying energy savings opportunities, followed by understanding how to access this efficiency potential. This website includes national and state-level energy efficiency potential studies for the residential, commercial, and industrial sector. It introduces presentations on how building energy codes, city-led efforts, energy savings performance contracting (ESPC), industrial, and ratepayer-funded efforts can support state energy planning.
This guide helps real estate professionals understand how to provide home energy information to consumers and helps facilitate multiple listing services in delivering verified energy data.
This paper gives municipal leaders tools to assess local energy resilience, a new term for the interconnection of community resilience and various aspects of energy supply and consumption. It looks at different aspects of this concept, like thermal building performance and transportation connectivity, and methods communities can use to assess them.
The adoption of intelligent efficiency applications is increasing across multiple sectors of the economy. This report analyzes over two dozen of these applications in the buildings, manufacturing, transportation, and government sectors. We describe the technologies involved, characterize their use, and quantify their deployment. We also look at several enabling and cross-cutting technologies and the use of intelligent efficiency in utility-sector energy efficiency programs.
This guide is designed to help environmental agencies better understand the array of Lean methods and when to consider using each method. The guide focuses primarily on Lean production, which is an organizational improvement philosophy and set of methods that originated in manufacturing but has been expanded to government and service sectors.
This report updates ACEEE's 2013 assessment of multifamily energy efficiency programs in US metropolitan areas with the most multifamily households. Using housing, policy, and utility-sector data from 2014 and 2015, this report documents how these programs have changed in the context of dynamic housing markets and statewide policy environments. The report also offers an analysis of the number, spending, offerings, and targeted participants of current programs and their potential for further expansion.
These policies provide protections for homeowners using PACE to invest in clean energy, energy efficiency, and water efficiency home upgrades. The standards address eligibility, repayment, disclosures, privacy concerns, contractor conduct, and operational requirements for PACE Programs.
This report examines the history of pay-for-performance (P4P) energy efficiency approaches. As the report describes, there is a diverse spectrum of pay-for-performance programs but, at the most basic level, these programs track and reward energy savings as they occur, usually by examining data from a building's energy meters -- as opposed to the more common approach of estimating savings in advance of installation and offering upfront rebates or incentives in a lump-sum payment. The report finds that P4P has some important opportunities for increasing energy savings, but also key limitations that will need to be better understood through piloting and experimentation.
The report summarizes a survey of realtors about sustainability issues facing the real estate industry nationally and regionally.
Each ResStock fact sheet presents the potential for residential energy and utility bill savings for the state. The top ten energy savings home improvements are highlighted.
The Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors provides tips to hiring a contractor, warnings about inexperienced contractors, and information on contracting license requirements and how to verify a license certificate.
This technical brief presents trends in the cost of saved electricity for energy efficiency programs between 2009 and 2013. For this report, LBNL collected and analyzed more than 5,400 program years of data collected in 36 states from 78 administrators of programs funded by customers of investor-owned utilities. These administrators provide efficiency programs to customers of investor-owned utilities that serve about half of total U.S. electricity load.
This report presents findings from an impact evaluation of the Universal Audit Tool (UAT). UAT programs provide residential customers with advice on energy efficiency, insight into areas of high energy use, and tips and suggestions for saving both energy and money based on responses to an online survey regarding household appliances, occupancy, and other dwelling characteristics.
This pamphlet from the California Contractors State License Board provides general advice for hiring a contractor and a construction project checklist.
This industry survey incorporates raw data collected from local, state and national energy efficiency, green and high performance certification and verification programs, builders and developers, home energy raters and many others to compile an updated database of units built or retrofitted in North Carolina since approximately 2007.
This report focuses on six energy efficiency areas for state and local governments to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial and multifamily buildings, which include strengthening market demand and expanding public-private partnerships.
This report examines how State Energy Offices and state-level partners are supporting growth and uptake of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing around the country. The report offers examples, insights, and strategies for State Energy Offices, green banks, state financing agencies, and other public and private entities to catalyze, accelerate, organize, and expand C-PACE markets.
The NorthernSTAR and U.S. Department of Energy Building America Program partnership investigated a new model to deploy building science-guided performance solutions to homeowners. This research explored three aspects to market delivery:
1. Understand the homeowner's motivations regarding investing in building science-based performance upgrades.
2. Determine a rapidly scalable approach to engage large numbers of homeowners directly through existing customer networks.
3. Access a business model that will manage all aspects of the contractor-homeowner performance professional interface to ensure good upgrade decisions throughout time.
Utilities and regulators increasingly rely on behavior change programs as essential parts of their demand side management (DSM) portfolios. This report evaluates the effectiveness of currently available programs, focusing on programs that have been assessed for energy savings. This report focuses on behavior change programs that primarily rely on social-science-based strategies instead of traditional approaches such as incentives, rebates, pricing, or legal and policy strategies. The objective is to help program administrators choose effective behavior change programs for their specific purposes.
This paper is intended to guide state governments on Clean Power Plan compliance and shows how leading by example in state and local government programs communicates an agency’s commitment to reducing energy consumption, protecting facilities, and protecting taxpayer dollars.
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 study focused on barriers to, and opportunities for, solar photovoltaic energy generation; opportunities for, access to other renewable energy by low-income customers; contracting opportunities for local small businesses in disadvantaged communities; low-income customers to energy efficiency and weatherization investments, including those in disadvantaged communities. It also provides recommendations on how to increase access to energy efficiency and weatherization investments to low-income customers.
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 presents results from three surveys of homeowners, renters, and contractors, which compared their perceptions and priorities for healthy housing to the principles of indoor air and environmental quality. Survey results indicate that: nearly one quarter of homeowners had some concern about healthy-home problems or risks; homeowners cited indoor air quality issues as their leading concern, followed by water quality, harmful materials and chemicals, and indoor environmental quality (such as noise or light pollution).
Behavioral change programs are not necessarily a separate category of efficiency efforts; rather, behavioral approaches can be effectively integrated into all programs in residential, commercial, or industrial settings. As increased connectivity within homes and businesses expands opportunities to provide energy information, the role of behavior will likely become even more prominent. Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Inc. (CEE) provides this webpage dedicated to behavior change resources.
Several recent studies purport to show that particular energy efficiency programs and policies do not work or are too expensive. This short paper is written for people who are not evaluation experts and are trying to understand what conclusions they can take from these studies. We examine many of these papers and find that while they do have some useful findings, they often include a variety of unreasonable assumptions or outright mistakes that undermine their conclusions. Based on this review, we offer several recommendations on ways we can constructively move forward.
This insight brief covers the set of standardized consumer protections for property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs that go above and beyond state legislative requirements and are recommended for universal adoption by state and local governments and bond-issuing entities.
This white paper from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory describes the benefits and costs of energy advisors, and describes how residential energy efficiency programs have made use of them in their program design.
This guide is designed to help state and local governments reduce carbon emissions by connecting them with EPA programs that can help them expand or develop their own energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives in ways that benefit low-income communities. The guide can also be used by low-income community leaders and stakeholder groups to better understand how they might participate in and take advantage of EPA initiatives to help their communities save energy.
This example home performance scorecard shows how a contractor compares to anonymized top and bottom scoring companies, based on their quality of measured installations, scope of work, customer satisfaction, and energy savings achieved.
Through field-testing and analysis, this project evaluated whole-building approaches and estimated the relative contributions of select technologies toward reducing energy use related to space conditioning in new manufactured homes. Three lab houses of varying designs were built and tested side-by-side under controlled conditions in Russellville, Alabama. The tests provided a valuable indicator of how changes in the construction of manufactured homes can contribute to significant reductions in energy use.
The primary objective of the quantitative research phase of this survey was to get market-based feedback and insights in the following areas to assist the industry in better serving its constituents, including: insights as to major challenges that industry is facing and potential support that organizations could provide and feedback on how industry organizations could add value for constituents in the future.
This literature review describes what is currently known about the occupant health benefits resulting from residential energy efficiency or work that is consistent with home performance upgrades. Of particular interest are the occupant health impacts associated with work typically conducted by the home performance industry, such as: air sealing and insulation; properly-sized, selected, matched, and installed energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; identification and correction of moisture problems; proper whole house and room ventilation; lighting; and additional services including the replacement of appliances; measurement and installation of whole house and room air filtration systems (e.g., air purifiers); and basic pest exclusion. The intent of this literature review is to examine research that assessed work that would not be expected to harm residents or the workers.
A recent cost vs. value report compared the average cost for popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale value in 100 different U.S. markets. This Home Energy article discusses how one of the most valuable remodeling options is one you can’t see--energy efficiency.
This report discusses indoor air quality issues, including: wildfire smoke, dampness, and mold, and the effect of energy efficiency upgrades on these health-related issues. The report describes current state policies and programs in these areas, highlighting approaches for consideration by other jurisdictions.
This publication explores the behavioral factors behind individual homeowners' use of energy, and what might change those behaviors. The chapters cover: (1) Leverage Points for Achieving Sustainable Consumption in Homeowner Energy Use; (2) Evaluating the Theoretical Justification for Tailored Energy Interventions; (3) Quantifying the Value of Home Energy Improvements; (4) Considering the Effect of Incorporating Home Energy Performance Ratings Into Real Estate Listings; (5) Energy Efficiency 101: Improving Energy Knowledge in Neighborhoods; (6) Enhancing Home Energy Efficiency Through Natural Hazard Risk Reduction: Linking Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in the Home; (7) Leveraging the Employer-Employee Relationship to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at the Residential Level; and (8) Increasing the Effectiveness of Residential Energy Efficiency Programs.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Autumn 2016.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Fall 2015.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held in Winter 2016.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buidlings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Spring 2016.
This publication summarizes program design, marketing, workforce development, and other key takeaways learned during Peer Exchange Calls.
This publication summarizes lessons learned from Peer Exchange Calls about how energy efficiency programs and partners can leverage timing to engage homeowners.
Energy burden is the percentage of household income spent on home energy bills. In this report, ACEEE, along with the Energy Efficiency for All coalition, measures the energy burden of households in 48 of the largest American cities. The report finds that low-income, African-American, Latino, low-income multifamily, and renter households all spend a greater proportion of their income on utilities than the average family. The report also identifies energy efficiency as an underutilized strategy that can help reduce high energy burdens by as much as 30%. Given this potential, the report goes on to describe policies and programs to ramp up energy efficiency investments in low-income and underserved communities.
This study assesses and monetizes a sub-set of non-energy benefits experienced by recipients of energy efficiency services residing in income-eligible households in MA, including: reduced asthma; reduced cold-related thermal stress; reduced heat-related thermal stress; reduced missed days at work; reduced use of short-term, high interest loans; increased home productivity due to improvements in sleep; reduced carbon monoxide poisoning; and reduced home fires.
Lists a number of resources related to Michigan Saves, including contractor application, home energy loan implementation guide, and training presentations for residential contractors.
This report was developed to help inform national stakeholders about the strategies that have been used to achieve deep energy savings in the multifamily housing sector through energy efficiency upgrades. These strategies could be used as models in areas where utility program administrators and policymakers seek to achieve deep energy savings in the multifamily building stock for the purposes of reducing energy costs, creating comfortable and healthy homes, meeting regulatory requirements, or reducing the environmental impacts of energy consumption. This report includes a national multifamily market characterization, barriers and opportunities for program and policy efforts, and eight exemplary case studies from across the country.
The research described in this report holds great potential to significantly improve the process for including energy efficiency in developing and implementing federally funded multifamily rehabilitation projects through the USDA, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and other programs.
This literature review explores how residential energy efficiency and health interventions can confer positive economic, health, and environmental non-energy benefits at the individual and community level, thereby leading to significant savings while improving the quality of life and resiliency of low income households. The paper closes with policy recommendations to unlock the savings of non-energy benefits from smart energy efficient investments.
Residential air-source heat pumps (ASHP) are a heating and air-conditioning technology that use electricity to provide a combination of space heating and cooling to homes. A new generation of ASHPs has come to market over the past five years. This report evaluates the key market barriers as well as potential opportunities to leverage. Based on an assessment of the regional ASHP market, it is clear that while ASHPs have established a viable and growing market, there remains a significant opportunity to further accelerate adoption of the technology and in the process achieve energy and cost savings to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
This joint Emerging Technologies and Residential Buildings Integration report is intended to help inform future technology deployment opportunities for connected thermostats (CTs), based on investigation and review of the U.S. residential housing and CT markets, as well as existing, emerging, and future use cases for CT hardware and CT-generated data.
This report, informed by leading research and real-world examples, highlights practical online and in-person tactics that contractors can use to promote social interaction and social comparison among homeowners to make energy upgrades a "must-have" in U.S. homes.
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building America research team, Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions Collaborative (ARIES), worked with four public housing authorities (PHAs) to develop packages of energy-efficiency retrofit measures that PHAs can cost-effectively implement with their own staffs during the normal course of housing operations when units are refurbished between occupancies. More than 1 million public housing units supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provide rental housing for eligible low-income families across the country, ranging from single-family houses to multifamily, high-rise apartments.
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.
Energy efficiency is good for you--and for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the community in which you live. This fact sheet shows how saving energy reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources, which in turn creates a healthier living environment for people everywhere. It includes the stories of a family in Pennsylvania and a hospital in Florida.
This guide for states highlights energy efficiency as a least-cost strategy to meet air pollution reduction and other policy objectives, including energy affordability and reliability. It presents established policy and program “pathways” to advance demand-side energy efficiency.
This report provides information and tools for policymakers, regulators, utilities, shared renewable energy developers, program administrators and others to support the adoption and implementation of shared renewables programs specifically designed to provide tangible benefits to low income and moderate income individuals and households.
This report explains the psychology of individual energy efficiency actions, and how large scale behavior change programs can use this research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This report identifies sustainable funding sources for asthma-related home interventions. It examines the business case and return on investment for interventions that remedy triggers that can exacerbate asthma.
Building on the strategy of creating a sustainable workplace, many companies have been focusing their efforts on developing a sustainable workforce. This approach to combining sustainability initiatives and employee engagement creates a value chain that has positive impacts for employers and employees alike and the communities they live in.
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 DOE webpage provides an introduction to how home energy management systems can fit into broader smart home and grid modernization efforts.
NEEP has been tracking the residential lighting market for several years and has provided analysis in many reports. As the transformation of this complex market gains traction, we find the conversation and need for new information narrowing to one key topic: LEDs. While CFLs continue to play a role in residences and amongst Northeast and Mid-Atlantic program administrators, the LED has transitioned into the starring role of the residential lighting show.
This article highlights the importance of communicating to homeowners about the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency improvements such as better comfort, improved indoor air quality, reduced allergies, and a safer, healthy home. It also discussed that non-energy benefits are an undervalued and often overlooked component of energy efficiency upgrades and need to be a part of energy efficiency program's and contractors' sales strategies.
Enhabit uses this 100-Point Performance Check to make recommendations to improve home performance.
This report represents NEEP’s annual assessment of the major policy developments of 2014, as well as its look into the immediate future, where NEEP gauge states’ progress toward capturing cost-effective energy efficiency as a first-order resource. While looking at the region as a whole, NEEP also provides summary and analysis of some of the biggest building energy efficiency successes and setbacks from Maine to Maryland — including significant energy efficiency legislation and regulations and changes in funding levels for energy efficiency programs.
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 report is targeted at both policymakers and program administrators who are less familiar with secondary markets and their significance in the energy efficiency context, as well as those that are more familiar with these concepts and may be actively considering secondary market strategies. It covers how efficient access to capital from secondary markets -- reselling energy loans to investors to replenish program funds -- is being advanced as an important enabler of the energy efficiency industry “at scale.”
This report covers how customer satisfaction translates into real and tangible value for power and utility companies and is better for business.
Real estate professionals are increasingly aware that today’s homebuyers consider heating and cooling costs, efficient appliances, and efficient lighting to be important factors in home purchase decisions. Residential energy efficiency and real estate stakeholders, however, agree that the home resale process frequently fails to account for the value of high-performance home features. If investments in energy efficiency were more accurately reflected in home resale prices, homeowners could have greater confidence that these investments would be recouped at resale, and they might make more investments in efficiency.
The Community Power Works program in Seattle, WA uses a program dashboard to track progress against targets. This is an example dashboard from March 2015, which is updated on a monthly basis with progress toward goals for sign-ups, energy audits, home energy upgrades, and energy savings.
This report shares the results of a research study conducted to understand the awareness and perceptions of potential consumers regarding ductless heat pumps and heat pump water heaters. The results were intended to help the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance improve messaging and marketing themes related to these products across the northwest region.
This series of 19 tip sheets is based on the experience and expertise of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities. The tip sheets cover a wide range of topics, such as marketing and communications (effective messaging, traditional media strategies, community-based social marketing, and testimonial videos) and working with specific types of stakeholders (institutional partners, contractors, experts, utilities, early adopters, volunteers).
This tip sheet was inspired by the experiences and expertise of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities (CSCs). It focuses on working with experts and highlights best practices and helpful resources and recommended resources for other communities interested in pursuing similar projects.
This tip sheet was inspired by the experiences and expertise of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities (CSCs). It focuses on working with institutional partners and highlights best practices and helpful resources and recommended resources for other communities interested in pursuing similar projects.
This brief study shows that energy efficiency customers are more likely to install home performance upgrades if they are shown a select number of recommended options, rather than facing a choice of many options.
The Guide to Action provides in-depth information about over a dozen policies and programs that states are using to meet their energy, environmental, and economic objectives with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and combined heat and power. Each policy description is based on states’ experiences in designing and implementing policies, as documented in existing literature and shared through peer-exchange opportunities provided to states by EPA’s State Climate and Energy Program.
This literature review and benchmarking analysis focuses on electric and gas utility-implemented Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP) in Minnesota that used behavioral techniques. The objective of this effort was to provide the State of Minnesota with information necessary to make informed decisions about the design, evaluation, and claimed savings approaches for these programs.
Energy efficiency collaboratives vary greatly and are typically designed for a specific jurisdiction, making them hard to compare side by side. This guide seeks to highlight a few common elements and draw conclusions on the overall effectiveness of specific characteristics of collaboratives. This guide defines and examines four different types of collaboratives in terms of their origin, scope, decision-making method, membership, duration, available resources, and how they interact with and influence their respective commissions.
This report presents results from an analysis of asthma-related health benefits of health and home performance interventions using data collected from 49 households in Northwestern Washington State from 2006 to 2013.
Cool Choices layered an experiment atop four engagement games where they used game mechanics to identify high energy users and encourage those high energy users (along with other game participants) to participate in Focus on Energy residential programs. This research effort, called "Find and Flip," explored whether a gamification strategy could identify high energy users and then drive them to Focus on Energy programs.
This guide provides recommended benchmarking metrics for measuring residential program performance.
This report presents smart meter data to analyze the ramp-up, dependability, and short-term persistence of savings in Home Energy Reports (HERs), one type of a behavior-based energy efficiency program.
This report discusses how low income communities can be transformed through energy efficiency. Many of our fellow citizens face energy costs that are excessive compared with their overall incomes, yet they cannot afford to invest in the energy efficiency measures that would reduce their energy cost burden. Families nationwide are often forced to choose between necessities such as food or medications and paying their energy bills to heat and cool their homes. Private and public resources are available to help Americans, but these resources reach only a small percentage of underserved households.
This online guide provides step-by-step guidance and resources for local governments to plan, implement, and evaluate climate, energy, and sustainability projects and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. It captures lessons learned and effective strategies used by local governments, breaks down program implementation into concrete steps, and curates resources to help local governments find the information they need. The framework was developed with extensive input from local government stakeholders, including EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities.
This guide was developed for local climate and clean energy (i.e., energy efficiency, renewable energy, and combined heat and power) program implementers to help create or transition to program designs that are viable over the long term. The guide draws on the experience and examples of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities as they developed innovative models for programs that could be financially viable over the long term and replicated in other communities.
The MF HERCC Recommendations Report 2015 Update expands the 2011 publication, and delivers explicit and refined recommendations for multifamily energy efficiency program administrators and implementers.
This paper examines the potential for new jobs in designing and implementing energy efficiency improvements in multifamily buildings. It discusses the cost savings and other benefits that accrue to businesses that own and manage multifamily housing, their tenants, and utilities. The paper reviews the factors that created this particular opportunity in multifamily housing and how studies of energy efficiencyÕs potential can help quantify the available efficiency opportunity in a given state. Finally, it discusses how to use cost-effectiveness tests to ensure that energy efficiency policies and programs are a wise use of taxpayer funds.