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.
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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 document summarizes top marketing and outreach takeaways shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during spring 2015 Peer Exchange Calls.
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.
The California investor-owned utilities -- Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), referred to collectively as the IOUs or Joint Utilities -- are designing seven energy efficiency financing pilot programs at the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC's) direction. To help inform the pilot design process and subsequent evaluation efforts, this report summarizes a comprehensive review of 15 existing financing programs representing noteworthy program models across the United States and around the globe.
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.
This study looks at evidence of capitalization of energy efficiency features in home prices using data from real estate multiple listing services (MLS) in three metropolitan areas: the Research Triangle region of North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon. These home listings include information on Energy Star certification and, in Portland and Austin, local green certifications. Our results suggest that Energy Star certification increases the sales prices of homes built between 1995 and 2006 but has no statistically significant effect on sales prices for newer homes.
This report contains guidance on issues and policy options related to providing access to customer energy use information that can be used to support and enhance the provision of energy efficiency services while protecting customer privacy.
This report provides information on how access to energy use data can help local governments create policies for benchmarking and disclosing building energy performance for public and private sector buildings.
This report provides information on how supporting access to building benchmarking data can help utilities increase efficiency and drive down energy demand.
This report provides information on how energy use data access can help state governments lead by example through benchmarking and disclosing results and implement benchmarking policies for the private sector.
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 is the first study to provide statistical evidence that, holding other factors constant, a green label on a single-family home in California provides a market premium compared to a comparable home without the label. The research also indicates that the price premium is influenced by local climate and environmental ideology. To reach these conclusions, researchers conducted an economic analysis of 1.6 million homes sold in California between 2007 and 2012, controlling for other variables known to influence home prices in order to isolate the added value of green home labels.
This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resource is intended to help state and local governments design finance programs for their jurisdiction. It describes financing program options, key components of these programs, and factors to consider as they make decisions about getting started or updating their programs.
This report identifies issues associated with developing a national evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) standard for end-use, non-transportation, energy efficiency activities.
This report presents the results of a scoping study to assess the need for national databases that can support best practices in energy efficiency program evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V).
This report presents results, recommendations, and case studies of energy efficiency financing programs.
This report provides an overview of evaluation, measurement, and verification approaches used to estimate the load impacts and effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.
This report discusses the five standard tests used to assess the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency, how states use the tests, and how the tests can determine the cost-effectiveness of efficiency measures.
This paper presents the results of a comprehensive study of the energy-related needs of California’s low-income population. This study was commissioned to direct future policy regarding the various low-income energy programs offered in the state. These programs include the California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) Program, which provides a rate discount to qualified low-income customers, and the Low-Income Energy Efficiency (LIEE) Program, which installs weatherization and energy efficiency measures in qualified dwellings at no charge.