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.
The catalog is a compilation of state and local energy efficiency potential studies to serve as a resource for energy planners and as a baseline for future analyses.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on key challenges and opportunities for working with HVAC contractors to shift toward high-impact energy-efficient HVAC solutions. Speakers include DOE and the Energy Trust of Oregon.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on innovative approaches to increase contractors' work quality through feedback reports and contractor ranking, decrease quality assurance costs through remote quality assurance, and improve contractor engagement. It features speakers from Consumers Energy, Enhabit, and DOE.
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.
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.
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.
This guide supports the development, maintenance, and use of accurate and reliable Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs). TRMs provide information to estimate the energy and demand savings of end-use energy efficiency measures associated with utility customer-funded efficiency programs. This guide describes existing TRMs in the United States and provides recommendations for TRM best practices. It also offers related background information on energy efficiency; evaluation, measurement, and verification; and TRM basics.
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.
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 summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how organizations can diversify and grow new revenue streams and types of financing approaches used to make resources stretch further and help homeowners finance upgrades. Speakers include Connecticut Green Bank, Sealed, and Craft3.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how home energy upgrades can support electric vehicle adoption.
The report, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a survey of tens of thousands of businesses across the country, provides detailed breakdowns of clean energy jobs not available previously, and it was developed and released in connection with a major U.S. Department of Energy study of all energy jobs in America.
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 paper analyzes Bank of America's $55 million initiative to provide low-cost funding and grant support to advance energy efficiency investment in low- to moderate-income communities. The funding supported community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in developing and enhancing efficiency programs for residential, commercial, and multifamily buildings. We report on loan performance, energy savings, and the degree to which the savings offset the cost of the energy efficiency investment.
Better Buildings Home Upgrade Program Accelerator partners, Build It Green, Enhabit, and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, discussed steps for streamlining program processes, and strategies to improve data management, contractor relationships, and customer experiences. Tools and resources were presented as examples of how these ideas can be implemented in programs across the country.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program featured 41 competitively selected grantees that developed sustainable energy efficiency upgrade programs across the U.S. from 2010-14. This presentation covers what worked and what didn’t, and key success factors identified by an independent evaluation.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on strategies for contractor training.
Enhabit uses this 100-Point Performance Check to make recommendations to improve home performance.
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 document summarizes top marketing and outreach takeaways shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during spring 2015 Peer Exchange Calls.
The Better Buildings Residential Network Social Media toolkit can be used to help residential energy efficiency programs learn to engage potential customers through social media. Social media can build brand awareness concerning home energy upgrades and the entities working on them, which can lead to more energy upgrade projects taking place in the long run. This toolkit will help program managers and their staff with decisions like what social media works best for various program needs. When aligned with other marketing and outreach efforts, social media can be a useful tool in attracting home energy upgrade customers. Note that social media changes constantly, so users of this toolkit need to regularly reassess their methods and review results to ensure goals are being met.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on community-based outreach and organizing strategies to market home energy assessments and upgrades.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on evaluation, measurement, and verification of predicted/modeled savings from home energy upgrades.
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.
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 summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how to generate energy upgrade customer leads and allocate those leads to contractors.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on standardization of effective practices across a program territory.
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.
This study documents the market valuation associated with the predominant green and energy efficiency home certifications used in the Northwest. Regional markets with a track record of including green building and energy efficiency information in MLS databases have lacked a recent, thorough, locally relevant analysis of the potential value of “higher performing” homes in current market conditions. Real property appraisers require a reliable, localized, granular analysis they can use in their home valuation calculations. The analysis contained in this report addresses this identified market need.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on changing an organization's home performance business model and expanding the services offered.
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.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on collaborating with Efficiency First chapters and other trade organizations effectively.
This report provides an overview of the current state of on-bill programs and provides actionable insights on key program design considerations for on-bill lending programs.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on strategies in building interest in and introducing energy efficiency to affordable housing.
This report is a comprehensive research study of energy efficiency in Northwest residential buildings. It includes a metering study, a single-family report, a manufactured homes report, and a multi-family report. In addition, it includes state-by-state energy use reports, as well as end-use consumption data.
Energy Trust of Oregon analyzes customer perceptions about energy efficiency.
Developed as part of the Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA), this report provides overall housing utility and energy statistics for Oregon, and details the type and efficiency of various components such as windows, insulation, appliances and type of heating fuel used in homes with each region of the state.
This policy brief provides insight into the transaction of an on-bill energy efficiency loan portfolio between two mission-oriented lenders, Craft3 in Oregon and Self Help in North Carolina.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on introducing and building interest in multi-family energy efficiency.
This peer exchange call summary focused on using approved contractor lists and matching customers with contractors based on processes/criteria.
This presentation describes behavior-based energy efficiency programs and the results of the implementation of pilots from the Snohomish County PUD, Puget Sound Energy, and Clark Public Utilities. These program design features included home energy reports, web portals, and social media platforms.
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 peer exchange call summary focused on lender-based fees and sharing costs with lending partners.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on gathering and communicating loan performance data.
The MPower Toolkit provides templates, resources, and lessons learned to address the barriers faced by the affordable multifamily housing sector when accessing energy efficiency upgrades. The toolkit is also intended for all stakeholders involved in efficiency programs, including efficiency program administrators, state and local leaders, utilities, energy consultants, and financial partners. MPower's core model is useful for all building types. In addition, the toolkit’s chapters are broken out into segments that highlight information and innovations that many efficiency programs are incorporating into their own models. The toolkit is a resource for all practitioners involved in implementing MPower and also serves to assist practitioners of other established efficiency programs. The MPower Toolkit draws from the experience of MPower Oregon, although it differentiates between the core MPower model and how MPower Oregon implemented this model.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how to create and track program benchmarks.
This report explores the approaches and research needs identified in the Building Retrofit Industry and Market (BRIM) Initiative through in-depth discussion with residential energy upgrade experts including a discussion of Marketing & Outreach and the program/contractor interface.
This presentation from Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) covers their "One-Stop Shop" Home Energy Remodel process where customers were guided through a four-step process: apply, assess, finance, and transform. This simple process gave customers access to a comprehensive package of services that included assistance from an independent energy advisor.
This case study highlights Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit) low interest, on-bill financing and alternative underwriting practices which have achieved a low rejection rate while also maintaining a low loan default rate.
This document contains Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) High Road standards for its statewide upgrade program; the standards are designed to ensure contractors do high-quality work, disadvantaged communities get new employment opportunities, and high-quality, family-supporting jobs are created.
Concierge Programs for Contractors - They're Not Just for Consumers Anymore
This webcast includes slides and information on programs' use of concierge programs to support contractors. It highlights two program examples: Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) and Vermont NeighborWorks.
This webcast includes slides and information on programs' use of concierge programs to support contractors. It highlights two program examples: Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) and Vermont NeighborWorks.
This presentation provides lessons to ensure effective incentive structures.
Reviews and summarize energy efficiency financing models and strategies. Models are analyzed according to funding sources, program structures, limits to scale, repayment vehicles, and project risks. Strategies consider applicable building sectors, models, levels of establishment, growth potential, advantages, and disadvantages.
This peer exchange call summary focused on how to engage, grow and identify challenges of small contractor businesses.
Many states have adopted policies intended to overcome the barriers that limit the more efficient use of electricity. Yet because such efforts have not addressed the lack of consumer information and motivation to improve efficiency, many opportunities for energy efficiency remain untapped. To help address that problem, states, utilities, and other energy efficiency service providers have begun to develop new approaches to informing and motivating customers based on behavioral economics and psychology research. This report describes three broad strategies that states can use to engage consumers' participation in energy efficiency programs: provide direct consumer information and feedback on energy use, influence social norms; and match messages and messengers to target audiences. Recommendations for actions that governors can take within the context of each of those three strategies are provided.
This practitioner-focused Toolkit for Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrade Programs was created by Green For All to assist new, established, and future energy efficiency programs launch and scale initiatives that can deliver the full promise of the green economy. It is intended as a practical resource that offers examples, tools, and templates that a program manager can deploy to implement a variety of aspects of their program including best practice briefs and summary documents, RFPs, contracts, and other program design and implementation templates that communities nationwide have used to create their own efficiency programs.
This toolkit provides information about including and using relevant green data fields in the MLS. This information can help buyers quickly find green homes; make it easy to promote the special features of a green home; and support comparisons when it is time to appraise a green home.
This article, part of a series sponsored by Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, details the successes and lessons learned of the Neil Kelly Company. Over the past 63 years, the Neil Kelly Company has successfully navigated several economic downturns and has revamped its home performance division to emerge as a leader of sustainable building practices.
This peer exchange call summary focused on how to receive and evaluate feedback from customers and contractors.
This report presents key findings and recommendations from the process evaluation of Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit's) energy efficiency financing program. Table 1 provides a good list of key process evaluation research questions which may help others scope comprehensive process evaluations.
This case study discusses how Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) used performance-based incentives, limited-time bonus rebates, early financing approvals, and seasonal advantages to broaden its program reach and increase home upgrade completions.
Highlights the EcoHouse Project Loan Program, which provides fixed interest rate loans as a tool for enabling energy improvements among households that are otherwise unlikely to be able to access affordable financing at market rates.
Presentation describing how Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) works with financial partners.
This data intake template spreadsheet provides a way to track home energy performance metrics.
This template, used by Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit), standardizes a number of forms that contractors fill out for the program.
This report highlights the impact of investment for Portland, Oregon in terms of high-quality job creation, equitable hiring, inclusive business opportunities, standardized training, and energy conservation.
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 summarizes research assessing national and regional residential behavior-based energy efficiency (BBEE) programs and activities to identify best practices. The report emphasizes that a basic foundation for behavior change is providing energy consumers with feedback on their energy consumption, with customer engagement strategies and tactics employed to get customers to take action and drive greater levels of energy savings.
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 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 case study discusses the strategies Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit's) used to actively engage contractors to make the program successful (e.g., balancing contractors' work priorities, enforcing quality standards).
This peer exchange call summary focused on what energy efficiency programs are doing to target low- and moderate-income households.
This report describes how utility planning processes that allow demand-side resources to compete with supply-side resources can promote cost-effective energy efficiency.
This peer exchange call summary focused on available program interest rates and how to lower those rates.
This report identifies and discusses factors that should be considered in evaluating model choices for administering and implementing ratepayer funded energy efficiency programs.
This paper describes a wide variety of behavior change insights potentially applicable to the energy efficiency program context, provides examples of efficiency programs that have applied these insights, and explores some untapped opportunities to achieve energy savings through behavior change.
Courtesy of Clean Energy Solutions. This presentation provides an overview of topics related to building the workforce for energy efficiency programs, including market characterization, stakeholder engagement, training and certification, and community workforce agreements. It includes information on the experience of Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) in Portland, Oregon.
A marketing and communications plan from Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) outlines the program's marketing vision and objectives, as well as the strategies the program planned to undertake to meet these goals.
Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit) developed consumer profiles based on research the program conducted on its target audience.
This report describes the process evaluation of a pilot project in Portland Oregon that informed the refinement and expansion of the program statewide into Clean Energy Works Oregon (now Enhabit).
This is an example of an RFP for workforce development and other program elements. The RFP covers recruitment, outreach and marketing oriented to homeowners and workers, and service delivery of energy assessments and upgrades.
This report provides an overview of evaluation, measurement, and verification approaches used to estimate the load impacts and effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.
The report presents an analysis of the market performance of third-party certified sustainable residential properties in the Portland and Seattle metropolitan areas. In each location, a sample of third-party certified homes was selected and comparable homes were found. The author documents that certified homes in the Seattle metro area sold at a price premium of 9.6% when compared to noncertified counterparts.
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.
This report provides guidance on determining the efficiency potential in a utility footprint, state, or region; evaluating efficiency as a supply-side resource; and developing detailed efficiency program plans.
This report describes the key issues, best practices, and main process steps for integrating energy efficiency into resource planning on an equal basis with other resources.
The purpose of this study is to furnish comprehensive information on ratepayer-funded low-income energy programs. This study includes information on and analysis of the energy needs of low-income households, the legal and regulatory framework supporting ratepayer-funded programs, program design options, and the findings from evaluations of program effectiveness.