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.
Showing results 1 - 100 of 131
This toolkit describes how to strengthen residential energy efficiency program outreach and marketing efforts through data-driven, tailored efforts to change behaviors. One of the greatest challenges facing the residential energy efficiency market is motivating people to take steps to save energy. This toolkit provides guidance, resources, and examples for applying community-based social marketing (CBSM) to increase the number of homes that are energy efficient.
Energy Trust of Oregon’s contractor selection tips provide several considerations for choosing an energy efficiency contractor.
This report consists of a literature review and in-depth interviews with subject matter experts in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program area. The goal was to compare Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) HPwES Programs with peer-programs across the United States. The report also identifies key metrics and emerging trends regarding program design.
This case study highlights how EmPOWER Maryland’s low-income programs have helped to reduce or eliminate the up-front costs of efficiency upgrades, minimize administrative burden on participants, and provide coordinated services through a statewide network of trusted partners. Under the Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability EmPOWER Program, owners of affordable multifamily housing receive loans and grants with flexible terms for the purchase and installation of a variety of energy improvements, from lighting and appliances to insulation and HVAC systems.
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 paper is a baseline assessment of electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs that target low-income households in the largest metropolitan areas in the country. ACEEE surveyed over 70 electric and natural gas utilities on their 2015 low-income program spending, energy savings, customer participation, and best practices.
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 presentation includes examples of 16 programs' creative marketing materials. The Better Buildings Residential Network held a March Madness tournament to find the most creative residential energy efficiency messages during March Peer Exchange Calls. Sixteen marketing campaigns were featured in a bracket challenge on the calls, and participants made their picks. Residential Network member the Fuel Fund of Maryland was chosen as the winning message for its Watt Watchers campaign.
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.
The Regional Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Forum (EM&V Forum) works to support use and transparency of current best practices in evaluation, measurement, verification, and reporting of energy and demand savings, costs, avoided emissions and other impacts of energy efficiency, while also advancing the development of strategies and tools to meet evolving policy needs for efficiency.
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.
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.
This webcast in a multi-part series highlighting efforts by state and local agencies, non-profits, and utilities to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE/RE) to low-income communities.
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 is a guide to all customer-facing financing products—products offered by a lender directly to a borrower—used to pay for energy efficiency. Intended for state and local governments that are deciding whether to start a new program, tune up and existing program, or create a Green Bank, it provides information on the full range of financing product options for target participants, the tradeoffs of various products, and potential advantages and disadvantages for different types of customers.
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 communicating non-energy benefits that homeowners and building owners are most interested in. Speakers include Elevate Energy, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, and Skumatz Economic Research Associates, Inc.
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.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how to assess, reassess, and initiate organization partnerships.
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.
The Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy is intended to give policymakers, regulators, efficiency proponents, program administrators and other stakeholders a comparative view of the progress of energy efficiency policies and programs across the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region. Along with state-level highlights, the report examines regional trends and shared challenges in harnessing the potential of energy efficiency to meet today’s pressing energy and environmental challenges.
This report looks into residential lighting savings assumptions found in Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs) throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to understand what values were being used for key metrics such as hours of use, delta watt, and measure life. It provides the opportunity to view completed Standardized Methods Forms to compare evaluation methodology and results.
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 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 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.
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 report lays the groundwork for a dialogue to explore regulatory and policy mechanisms for ensuring that efficiency financing initiatives provide value for society and protection for consumers. Through case studies of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, California, and Maryland, it explores emerging issues that jurisdictions will need to tackle when considering an increased reliance on financing.
This guide identifies 12 best practices for policymakers, regulators, and program administrators to help building owners invest to increase the energy efficiency of multifamily affordable housing.
The benefits of energy efficiency extend beyond energy savings. Homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities gain comfort, health, and safety benefits from energy efficiency programs. Additional benefits for businesses include savings on maintenance, materials, and the costs of regulatory compliance. On the supply side, electric utilities enjoy reduced system costs. Focusing on the residential, business, and utility sectors, this report examines each of these multiple benefits, their role in program marketing, and current best practices for including them in cost-effectiveness testing.
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.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on marketing techniques for lower income and other underrepresented populations.
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.
During the 2014 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 985 (Chapter 365 of the 2014 Laws of Maryland) entitled “Maryland Clean Energy Center—Green Banks & Clean Bank Financing Study,” which directed MCEC to study the feasibility of developing a green bank for the State of Maryland. This study focuses primarily on the role of green banks in financing renewable energy and energy efficiency and on the potential need for a green bank in Maryland.
Community-Based Social Marketing
This webcast provides an overview of community-based social marketing and provides examples from programs that have used it.
This report analyzes and develops estimates of non-energy impacts that could be included in cost effectiveness analyses for the EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency programs. Four non-energy benefits are included in this analysis: air emissions, comfort, commercial operations and maintenance (O&M), and utility bill arrearages. In all four cases, a recommended value and methods for including them in future EMPOWER costs effectiveness analyses are provided.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on collaborating with Efficiency First chapters and other trade organizations effectively.
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 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 paper found that improved health outcomes and more stable, productive homes in primarily African American, low-income neighborhoods are related to the mitigation of asthma triggers and home-based environmental health hazards and that upstream investments in low-income housing have the potential for generating sustainable returns on investment and cost savings related to improved health, productivity gains, and wealth retention due to energy conservation.
This study is a review of non-energy benefits related to residential weatherization programs. The study estimates the value, in dollar and percentage terms, of non-energy benefits from weatherization programs, and summarizes the ranges and typical values for non-energy benefits. Recommendations for a non-energy benefits strategy for Maryland are provided.
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 summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how loan performance data is tracked and analyzed, and what the data shows.
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.
The document provides best practices and guidance for conducting the energy analysis required for multifamily (MF) building energy improvement projects funded by the various programs of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The intended audience includes energy auditors, building owners and operators, contractors, designers, architects, engineers, and energy efficiency consultants and program staff.
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.
The Small Town Energy Program (STEP) toolkit gives a complete overview of STEP from planning to implementation. It also includes access to a wide variety of materials developed by the program, including: local asset materials, partner materials, personnel materials, program administrative materials, outreach materials, and surveys. STEP has posted these toolkit documents with the hope that it will assist other small towns and communities in building and running more energy efficiency programs.
STEP was developed with a mission to "create a model community energy transformation program that serves as a roadmap for other small towns across the U.S." This final technical report summarizes the program's comprehensive energy evaluations for homes.
An assembly of all the key elements that went into the design and delivery of STEP -- formerly STEP-UP, a University Park, Maryland, Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partner.
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.