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.
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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 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.
This podcast episode explores sustainability and the unexpected benefits of energy efficiency with guest Jonathan Cohen, U.S. Department of Energy.
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.
A number of states are beginning to recognize Demand Reduction Induced Price Effects (DRIPE) as a real, quantifiable benefit of energy efficiency and demand response programs. DRIPE is a measurement of the value of demand reductions in terms of the decrease in wholesale energy prices, resulting in lower total expenditures on electricity or natural gas across a given grid. This paper reviews the existing knowledge and experience from select U.S. states regarding DRIPE (including New York and Ohio), and the potential for expanded application of the concept of DRIPE by regulators.
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.
There are more than 17 million multifamily households nationwide, yet they remain a significant and mostly untapped opportunity for energy efficiency gains. Many cities and states that have embraced energy retrofitting as a job creator and boon to both the environment and economy have yet to address potential savings in multifamily properties, primarily because of obstacles not faced by single family and commercial properties. This paper discusses two barriers -- a lack of information and financing -- that stand in the way of multifamily energy retrofits.
This paper explores ways in which program administrators are using social norms to spur behavior change and, as a result, curb energy use. In recent years, home energy reports (HER) programs have applied the concept of social norms to the energy efficiency context. These feedback programs inform customers of how their energy consumption compares to their neighbors' and provide other information about their usage, with the goal of enticing customers to change their energy use behavior to improve their relative neighborhood ranking.
This report helps policymakers understand how electric and natural gas utilities can achieve greater efficiency by establishing numeric energy savings targets and goals for energy efficiency programs.
This report summarizes the issues and approaches involved in motivating customers to reduce the total energy they consume through energy prices and rate design.
This report considers consumers' perspectives on policy and regulatory issues associated with the administration of energy efficiency investments funded by ratepayers of electric and natural gas utilities.