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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This paper examines criteria for a comparative assessment of multiple financing programs for energy efficiency, developed through a statewide public process in California.
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 presentation covers details of an in-store market test for Super-Efficient Dryer (SED) marketing collateral. Five different marketing message concepts were created based on previous consumer research. The concepts include: an image, a headline of the key benefit, and a brief product description to drive credibility.
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.
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 report presents findings from an impact evaluation of the Universal Audit Tool (UAT). UAT programs provide residential customers with advice on energy efficiency, insight into areas of high energy use, and tips and suggestions for saving both energy and money based on responses to an online survey regarding household appliances, occupancy, and other dwelling characteristics.
This pamphlet from the California Contractors State License Board provides general advice for hiring a contractor and a construction project checklist.
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.
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 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 insight brief covers the set of standardized consumer protections for property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs that go above and beyond state legislative requirements and are recommended for universal adoption by state and local governments and bond-issuing entities.
This paper examines the current state of energy efficiency financing, highlighting segments of strength such as cars, green buildings, and energy service companies, and offering areas that are underserved, including residential low-income and moderate-income households and multifamily housing.
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 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.
This report, informed by leading research and real-world examples, highlights practical online and in-person tactics that contractors can use to promote social interaction and social comparison among homeowners to make energy upgrades a "must-have" in U.S. homes.
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 provides information and tools for policymakers, regulators, utilities, shared renewable energy developers, program administrators and others to support the adoption and implementation of shared renewables programs specifically designed to provide tangible benefits to low income and moderate income individuals and households.
Home energy management systems (HEMS) continue to present a unique opportunity and challenge. While energy savings have been documented for many HEMS, some of the most promising opportunities from these devices and systems can be found in the internet of things (IoT) and smart home technologies. This report presents market updates, a regional goal, and strategies to drive market transformation and achieve the many benefits from HEMS and the Smart Energy Home.
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 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.
The MF HERCC Recommendations Report 2015 Update expands the 2011 publication, and delivers explicit and refined recommendations for multifamily energy efficiency program administrators and implementers.
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.
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.
The California investor-owned utilities -- Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), referred to collectively as the IOUs or Joint Utilities -- are designing seven energy efficiency financing pilot programs at the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC's) direction. To help inform the pilot design process and subsequent evaluation efforts, this report summarizes a comprehensive review of 15 existing financing programs representing noteworthy program models across the United States and around the globe.
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 paper first details industry best practices for contest administration, including tips for developing an overall contest plan and timeline, product sponsor recruitment, building a dynamic informational website, maximizing customer participation, selecting the winning home, seamless installation management, capturing and documenting project results, conducting a high profile media open house and facilitating customer workshops that educate homeowners and strengthen trade ally relationships. This paper then presents results and key lessons learned from more than 20 contests supported with funds from local community sustainability programs, utility energy efficiency programs, and U.S. Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds between 2008 and 2012.
This paper describes the changes in indoor environmental quality (IEQ) conditions (air quality and thermal comfort conditions) from health and home performance improvements in 16 apartments serving low-income populations within three buildings in different California climates and seasons.
This report contains guidance on issues and policy options related to providing access to customer energy use information that can be used to support and enhance the provision of energy efficiency services while protecting customer privacy.
This publication summarizes some of the incentives offered by Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners.
This guide shows HVAC contractors how to get started in the home improvement market. It explains the approach of treating a house like a system and provides step-by-step instructions on setting up a home performance contracting business.
This report provides information on how access to energy use data can help local governments create policies for benchmarking and disclosing building energy performance for public and private sector buildings.
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.
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 is the first study to provide statistical evidence that, holding other factors constant, a green label on a single-family home in California provides a market premium compared to a comparable home without the label. The research also indicates that the price premium is influenced by local climate and environmental ideology. To reach these conclusions, researchers conducted an economic analysis of 1.6 million homes sold in California between 2007 and 2012, controlling for other variables known to influence home prices in order to isolate the added value of green home labels.
This paper explores the drivers of energy use behaviors and the behavior‐based programs adopted by utilities charged with reducing the energy consumption of their residential and small commercial customers. It also presents researchable recommendations on how utilities can improve the effectiveness of behavior‐based energy programs.
This paper establishes the size of the potential retrofit market in the United States, and examines the emergence of new financing models that offer the promise of overcoming historical barriers to energy efficiency.
This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resource is intended to help state and local governments design finance programs for their jurisdiction. It describes financing program options, key components of these programs, and factors to consider as they make decisions about getting started or updating their programs.
This report provides state and local policymakers with information on successful approaches to the design and implementation of residential efficiency programs for households ineligible for low-income programs.
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 provides an overview of residential customer information and behavior efficiency programs, and identifies key challenges to and solutions for increasing the penetration of these programs nationwide.
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).
Outlines five public-private financing mechanism options for energy efficiency upgrades programs, including on-bill financing, PACE financing, and loan loss reserve funds.
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 presents results, recommendations, and case studies of energy efficiency financing programs.
This report summarizes existing research and discusses current practices, opportunities, and barriers to coordinating energy efficiency and demand response programs.
This report presents best practices for operating successful portfolio-level efficiency programs, including assessing efficiency potential, cost-effectiveness screening, and developing a portfolio of approaches.
Summary of the standards that support job quality, equitable access and quality assurance in several residential energy efficiency programs from different parts of the country.
This report provides an overview of evaluation, measurement, and verification approaches used to estimate the load impacts and effectiveness of energy efficiency programs.
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.
This report summarizes the issues and approaches involved in motivating customers to reduce the total energy they consume through energy prices and rate design.
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.
Report that identifies and evaluates the sufficiency of available financing options to help low-income populations, particularly communities that have been historically overburdened by air pollution (i.e., "environmental justice communities"), invest in resource-saving measures, such as energy efficiency and water conservation.
This report discusses the five standard tests used to assess the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency, how states use the tests, and how the tests can determine the cost-effectiveness of efficiency measures.
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.
This paper presents the results of a comprehensive study of the energy-related needs of California’s low-income population. This study was commissioned to direct future policy regarding the various low-income energy programs offered in the state. These programs include the California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) Program, which provides a rate discount to qualified low-income customers, and the Low-Income Energy Efficiency (LIEE) Program, which installs weatherization and energy efficiency measures in qualified dwellings at no charge.