Cost-effectiveness evaluations compare energy efficiency's benefits and costs to judge whether to expand, retain, revise, or eliminate efficiency programs or specific measures. This presentation discusses the basics of cost-effectiveness assessments for utility customer-funded efficiency portfolios as well as issues and options that should be considered when assessing cost-effectiveness, selecting which test(s) to use, and quantifying the components of tests (e.g., non-energy impacts, measure costs).
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This presentation covers the current pilot project testing M&V2.0 as an evaluation tool facilitated by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). Speakers on this panel presented examples of how whole building modeling is currently being used for M&V now and its potential future applications. Speakers also discussed benchmarking, data access and other protocols, and how experience with efficiency programs teach us so we can build upon the current experience.
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.
This presentation discusses E4TheFuture's report, Occupant Health Benefits of Residential Energy Efficiency, which reviews existing research on residential EE measures and associated health impacts, discusses ways that programs can monetize occupant health co-benefits, highlights innovative programs that combine energy efficiency and health-focused home repairs, and identifies research gaps and strategies to help advance and leverage funding across such integrated efforts.
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.
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 key challenges and opportunities to deploy neighborhood energy programs. Speakers include the City of Orlando, SEEDS, and Research Into Action, Inc.
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.
The NorthernSTAR and U.S. Department of Energy Building America Program partnership investigated a new model to deploy building science-guided performance solutions to homeowners. This research explored three aspects to market delivery:
1. Understand the homeowner's motivations regarding investing in building science-based performance upgrades.
2. Determine a rapidly scalable approach to engage large numbers of homeowners directly through existing customer networks.
3. Access a business model that will manage all aspects of the contractor-homeowner performance professional interface to ensure good upgrade decisions throughout time.
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 report details opportunities for scaling up program activity and increasing savings from programs reaching the people who need it most. It discussed best practices from existing programs for overcoming many of the key challenges that program administrators face, including how to address housing deficiencies that prevent energy efficiency upgrades, how to address cost effectiveness challenges, and how to serve hard-to-reach households.
This report explores how governments and energy efficiency implementers could help stakeholders better analyze and act upon building performance data to unlock savings.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on how energy efficiency could be used to achieve other goals. It features speakers from the City of Orlando and Seattle City Light.
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.
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 summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on the intersection between solar and residential energy efficiency. Speakers include Ecolibrium3 and Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP).
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on the ACEEE Summer Study, which brought together experts to discuss the technological basis for, and practical implementation of, actions to reduce energy use and the climate impacts associated with buildings.
This literature review describes what is currently known about the occupant health benefits resulting from residential energy efficiency or work that is consistent with home performance upgrades. Of particular interest are the occupant health impacts associated with work typically conducted by the home performance industry, such as: air sealing and insulation; properly-sized, selected, matched, and installed energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; identification and correction of moisture problems; proper whole house and room ventilation; lighting; and additional services including the replacement of appliances; measurement and installation of whole house and room air filtration systems (e.g., air purifiers); and basic pest exclusion. The intent of this literature review is to examine research that assessed work that would not be expected to harm residents or the workers.
A car is only as efficient as its driver and its mechanic; so, too, for buildings. This presentation covers best practices and reviews case studies on engaging building residents and training facilities managers to keep buildings running efficiently and meeting Better Buildings Challenge goals.
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.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held during Fall 2015.
This document features lessons learned shared by Better Buildings Residential Network members during Peer Exchange Calls held in Winter 2016.
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.
Presentation on the Energy Efficiency Reporting Tool for Public Power Utilities
This presentation discusses the energy efficiency reporting tool for public power utilities. The tool is an Excel-based template is designed to produce consistent, useful metrics on program investments and performance for small to medium-sized administrators of public power efficiency programs.
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 summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on integrating health and home performance and discussed connecting energy efficiency and health.
Energy efficiency is good for you--and for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the community in which you live. This fact sheet shows how saving energy reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources, which in turn creates a healthier living environment for people everywhere. It includes the stories of a family in Pennsylvania and a hospital in Florida.
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 multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy improvements as well as annual energy savings of 25 percent and cost savings of $25,000 at Orness Plaza in Mankato, MN. Planning for a substantial renovation of the aging and poorly performing 40 year old building began in 2009 with the goals of improving occupant health, building durability, and the energy and water efficiency of the buildings systems.
This multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy improvements as well as annual energy savings of 34 percent and cost savings of $23,000 at The Landing Apartments located in Chaska, MN. The Landing Apartments is an affordable, multifamily, senior housing development that is organized as its own nonprofit entity that Aeon controls.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on strategies for contractor training.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on developing messaging and branding strategies.
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.
The Community Power Works program in Seattle, WA uses a program dashboard to track progress against targets. This is an example dashboard from March 2015, which is updated on a monthly basis with progress toward goals for sign-ups, energy audits, home energy upgrades, and energy savings.
This brief study shows that energy efficiency customers are more likely to install home performance upgrades if they are shown a select number of recommended options, rather than facing a choice of many options.
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.
This literature review and benchmarking analysis focuses on electric and gas utility-implemented Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP) in Minnesota that used behavioral techniques. The objective of this effort was to provide the State of Minnesota with information necessary to make informed decisions about the design, evaluation, and claimed savings approaches for these programs.
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 report presents results from an analysis of asthma-related health benefits of health and home performance interventions using data collected from 49 households in Northwestern Washington State from 2006 to 2013.
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 the benefits and challenges of local programs connecting to national campaigns.
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.
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.
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 infographic illustrates program accomplishments between 2011 and 2014.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on helping communities respond to natural disaster and incorporating energy efficiency into disaster recovery.
In this video interview segment, Yvonne Kraus of Conservation Services Group describes how the program aligned its goal of increasing energy efficiency with the community's goal to avoid building a new electrical substation.
This study assesses the benefits of adding health and home performance to a community health worker education program on asthma control in King County, Washington, from October 2009 to September 2010. The study compared group homes receiving community health worker education on health and home performance benefits and interventions with historical comparison group homes receiving only education on asthma control. Over the study period, the percentage of study group children with not-well-controlled or very poorly controlled asthma decreased more than the comparison group.
In this video interview segment, Yvonne Kraus of Conservation Services Group describes how energy advisors were an important strategy for building trust with customers in the community.
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.
As part of its Smart Grid Investment Grant, Minnesota Power conducted a Consumer Behavior Study Plan (CBSP) designed to answer research questions about residential customers' interest in, use of, and benefits derived from higher resolution feedback on electricity consumption (such as usage data for each individual day or hour). The study also explored the customer experience with the tools that provide this information. These questions are of interest because the advanced metering infrastructure associated with a smart grid enables higher resolution usage information for utility customers, which has the potential to better inform them about their energy consumption and help them refine their usage choices. The CBSP began in the spring of 2012 and was implemented in the Duluth/Hermantown area of Minnesota.
The Multi-State Residential Retrofit Project is a residential energy-efficiency pilot program, funded by a competitive U.S. State Energy Program (SEP) award through the U.S. Department of Energy. The Multi-State Project operates in four states: Alabama, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington. During the course of this three-year process evaluation, Cadmus worked closely with NASEO and the four states to collect information about the programs from many perspectives, including: State Energy Office staff, program implementers, homeowners, auditors/contractors, real estate professionals, appraisers, lenders, and utility staff. This report discusses: the project’s context; its goals; the evaluation approach and methods; cross-cutting evaluation results; and results specific to each of the four states.
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.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on programs and outreach for faith-based organizations.
Overview and Preliminary Results of ARRA-Funded SGIG Consumer Behavior Studies
This webcast discusses the background for U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) consumer behavior study effort; the various utilities who are participating and what they each plan to include their respective studies; the quantitative results and qualitative lessons learned thus far from these studies; and the types of research will be undertaken by LBNL over the next several years.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on quality assurance and control, standardization of upgrades and workforce expectations.
Developed as part of the Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA), this report provides overall housing utility and energy statistics for Washington, 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 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 summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on the strategies and challenges of using holidays and other seasonal events to market energy assessments and upgrades.
The study was completed on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Commerce to characterize energy use in the state's multifamily sector and to identify untapped energy efficiency opportunities. Working with Franklin Energy, the field study gathered characteristic data for 120 representative buildings across the state as well as survey data of both building owners and tenants. Using this data as well as a utility billing analysis, the Energy Center of Wisconsin (now Seventhwave) developed an in-depth characterization for a hard-to-reach sector in Minnesota that had not been, up until this point, studied to this degree.
This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on the challenges, strategies and advantages of operating as a prime contractor.
This peer exchange call summary focused on the challenges, advantages and disadvantages of using a home scoring system.
RePower helped consumers access aggregated information about financing and rebates by compiling a customer-friendly guide to all utility and non-utility incentives in its service area.
This study focused on homeowner decision-making in response to home energy assessments, combined with the quality of the recommendations, the home energy assessment, and home energy labels. This report analyzes what assessments provide and what homeowners seem to want. It presents the results of a study of an existing home energy audit program pilot offered by Seattle City Light. From mid-2010 to late 2011, approximately 1,350 home energy assessments were completed in Seattle as part of Seattle City Light's program.
This peer exchange call summary focused on how to calculate and communicate program activities and results.
This peer exchange call summary focused on the challenges, benefits, quality assurance methods and incorporation of do-it-yourself projects into programs.
This peer exchange call summary focused on best practices, entry points, strategies and challenges of program integration and participation in utility planning efforts.
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 video describes how RePower benefited from coordinating with contractors from the very beginning.
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 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 covers how to create high road standards and use the momentum of energy sector projects to create safe, well-paying, long-term careers for a diverse group of people. It includes case studies on Community Power Works in Seattle, Washington, and Clean Energy Works Oregon's (now Enhabit's) efforts to use community high road agreements.
In this video interview segment, Yvonne Kraus of Conservation Services Group in Bainbridge Island, Washington, discusses why the RePower program created multiple branding and messaging themes.
Pacific Power contracted with The Cadmus Group, Inc., to conduct impact and process evaluations of its Washington low-income weatherization program for the program period extending from March 2009 through February 2011. The impact evaluation assessed energy savings and cost-effectiveness associated with the program, and in doing so quantified select non-energy benefits. The process evaluation assessed program delivery and efficacy, potential bottlenecks, opportunities for improvements, and participants’ experiences and satisfaction with the program.
In this video interview segment, Yvonne Kraus of Conservation Services Group describes how program and utility partnerships can co-benefit each other.
Homeowner data collection survey created by RePower.
Evaluation reports from the Seattle Community Power Works program. The city of Seattle worked to encourage efficiency upgrades for single-family and multi-family residences, small businesses, hospitals, and large commercial and municipal buildings.
This mid-program evaluation includes extensive analysis of program sectors, including results of surveys of participants, and summarizes lessons learned to date.