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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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 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.
Over the past 30 years, program administrators have concentrated on investment behavior change -- that is getting their customers to install things like insulation and lighting systems using various behavior change tools such as marketing, education, rebates, and technical assistance to support the investment behavior change. Today, as program administrators move to expand the range of behavior change strategies in their portfolios, it is often difficult to know where to begin. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) began by detailing the range of behavior change strategies and identifying strategic opportunities.
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.
This report profiles the early results of a diverse range of small- to medium-sized American cities with different economic and energy profiles that are pioneering the clean energy economy. Many communities used federal grants to jumpstart long-term strategies to test and refine various clean energy and energy efficiency solutions. Others developed innovative financing strategies in the absence of grant money. These city-led efforts to catalyze local clean energy economic development are important to watch as federal grants sunset, especially in the absence of a comprehensive national energy or climate policy.
This report provides state and local policymakers with information on successful approaches to the design and implementation of residential efficiency programs for households ineligible for low-income programs.
This report provides an overview of residential customer information and behavior efficiency programs, and identifies key challenges to and solutions for increasing the penetration of these programs nationwide.
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 presents best practices for operating successful portfolio-level efficiency programs, including assessing efficiency potential, cost-effectiveness screening, and developing a portfolio of approaches.
This report summarizes the issues and approaches involved in motivating customers to reduce the total energy they consume through energy prices and rate design.