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.
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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 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.
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.
Through field-testing and analysis, this project evaluated whole-building approaches and estimated the relative contributions of select technologies toward reducing energy use related to space conditioning in new manufactured homes. Three lab houses of varying designs were built and tested side-by-side under controlled conditions in Russellville, Alabama. The tests provided a valuable indicator of how changes in the construction of manufactured homes can contribute to significant reductions in energy use.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 publication summarizes some of the incentives offered by Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners.
This report provides information on how energy use data access can help state governments lead by example through benchmarking and disclosing results and implement benchmarking policies for the private sector.
This paper explores ways in which program administrators are using social norms to spur behavior change and, as a result, curb energy use. In recent years, home energy reports (HER) programs have applied the concept of social norms to the energy efficiency context. These feedback programs inform customers of how their energy consumption compares to their neighbors' and provide other information about their usage, with the goal of enticing customers to change their energy use behavior to improve their relative neighborhood ranking.
This Washington State Department of Labor & Industries provides a short list of considerations and tips when hiring a contractor or remodeler.
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 describes how utility planning processes that allow demand-side resources to compete with supply-side resources can promote cost-effective energy efficiency.
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 highlights road-tested strategies, resources, and tools states can use to adopt cost-effective energy efficiency and clean energy programs for their buildings, facilities, and operations.
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.