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.
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 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.
This industry survey incorporates raw data collected from local, state and national energy efficiency, green and high performance certification and verification programs, builders and developers, home energy raters and many others to compile an updated database of units built or retrofitted in North Carolina since approximately 2007.
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.
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.
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 U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building America research team, Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions Collaborative (ARIES), worked with four public housing authorities (PHAs) to develop packages of energy-efficiency retrofit measures that PHAs can cost-effectively implement with their own staffs during the normal course of housing operations when units are refurbished between occupancies. More than 1 million public housing units supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provide rental housing for eligible low-income families across the country, ranging from single-family houses to multifamily, high-rise apartments.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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 study looks at evidence of capitalization of energy efficiency features in home prices using data from real estate multiple listing services (MLS) in three metropolitan areas: the Research Triangle region of North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon. These home listings include information on Energy Star certification and, in Portland and Austin, local green certifications. Our results suggest that Energy Star certification increases the sales prices of homes built between 1995 and 2006 but has no statistically significant effect on sales prices for newer homes.
This report 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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
This study provides statistically significant analysis that ENERGY STAR qualified new homes sell faster (i.e., fewer days on the market) and for higher prices (i.e., sell for higher prices, or sell for a greater percentage of the listing price, or have a higher price per square foot) than comparable nonqualified homes, providing valuable evidence that there is a market advantage for ENERGY STAR qualified homes.
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 report describes how utility planning processes that allow demand-side resources to compete with supply-side resources can promote cost-effective energy efficiency.
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.
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 summarizes the scale and economic value of energy efficiency for reducing carbon emissions and discusses barriers to achieving the potential for cost-effective energy efficiency.
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.