The Better Buildings Financing Navigator is a web-based tool designed to help private and public sector organizations discover financing solutions for energy efficiency projects that meet their unique needs. Through the Financing Navigator, multi-family building owners, facility and energy managers, and other decision-makers can connect with financiers, including banks and financial institutions, to pursue energy-saving measures.
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The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Residential Program released version 2.0 of a user-friendly tool for estimating the cost-effectiveness of a residential energy efficiency program based on program administrator inputs. Cost-effectiveness analysis compares the benefits (i.e., outputs or outcomes) associated with a program or a measure with the costs (i.e., resources expended) to produce them. Program cost-effectiveness is commonly used by public utility commissions to make decisions about funding programs or program approaches. Program designers, policy makers, utilities, architects, and engineers can use this tool to estimate the impact of different program changes on the cost-effectiveness of a program.
This toolkit supplies evaluators doing energy efficiency evaluations in California with the latest versions of the key documents, rulings, and tools, that define, inform or control their evaluation efforts.
This guide provides a series of questions that will help to develop a baseline assessment in energy efficiency, renewables, or other services programs.
The City of Fort Collins, Colorado increased the number of homes that are energy efficient through the use of community-based social marketing. Strategies to maximize impact included identifying neighborhoods based on data analysis, simplifying the process for completing upgrades, and using trusted messengers for delivery of tailored messages on energy efficiency services.
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 case study highlights the low-income programs of Efficiency Vermont, the nation’s first public energy efficiency utility, which aims to reduce these customers' high energy burden, freeing up money that they can spend on food, housing, and other necessities. These low-income programs have saved enough electricity to power nearly 8,000 Vermont households for a year and offer solutions that eliminate or reduce up-front costs for residents, a typical barrier to improving energy efficiency in low-income households. Its multifamily energy efficiency program helps renters and building owners save energy, addressing the “split incentive” barrier in which owners have little reason to invest in efficiency measures that benefit tenants who pay their own energy bills.
This document profiles the Chicago-area non-profit Elevate Energy, which offers a full-service energy efficiency retrofit program for owners of and tenants in affordable multifamily buildings in eleven states.
A comprehensive source of data on the environmental characteristics of almost all electric power generated in the United States.
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.
With project funding from Energize NY PACE and incentives from NYSERDA's Multifamily program, Natlew Corporation was able to make energy efficiency upgrades to their multifamily affordable housing complex in Mount Vernon, NY.
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.
Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC), an independent nonprofit organization created by the State of Colorado, is a one-stop shop for low-income energy services in the state, including programs for affordable multifamily housing. EOC developed partnerships with a variety of organizations across Colorado, leveraged multiple funding sources, and created new and expanded programs to address gaps in low-income energy assistance. This case study highlights EOC’s key features, approach, partners, funding sources, and achievements, as well as their keys to success and tips for replication and sustainability.
This tool from Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) provides homeowners with a list of contractors, based on their location, to schedule an energy assessment or in-home consultation. It also provides a direct link to state license information.
This tool provides Southern California Edison (SCE) and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) customers with a list of Energy Upgrade California participating contractors, home performance skills, license information, and the languages spoken by the contractors.
This tool from Focus on Energy connects Wisconsin residents and businesses with local home performance contractors that provide various energy efficiency services and offers a list of each contractor's skills.
PACE Equity worked closely with CRE Investment Financing to develop and fund a new construction, micro-apartment project in the Sloans Lake area of Denver. This project is the first new construction PACE project in Colorado, as well as the first PACE project completed in Denver.
Home Energy Score is an online tool used by assessors to rate a home’s energy efficiency on a scale of 1 to 10, with a score of 10 indicating that the home has excellent energy performance and a score of 1 indicating that the home needs extensive energy improvements. Once a home is scored, homeowners receive recommendations on how to improve their score.
This tool helps customers in New York State find Home Performance with ENERGY STAR participating contractors based on their location.
Home performance extensible markup language (HPXML) is a national Building Performance Institute Data Dictionary and Standard Transfer Protocol created to reduce transactional costs associated with exchanging information between market actors. This website provides resources to help stakeholders implement HPXML and stay updated on its development.
This case study describes how the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) partnered with gas and electric utilities in Iowa to establish the Iowa HVAC Systems Adjustment and Verified Efficiency (HVAC SAVE) program.
This toolkit is a comprehensive guide to utility benchmarking for the multifamily sector. Benchmarking 101 describes the benefits of tracking utility data and explains how to begin the process. Utility Benchmarking Step-by-Step outlines a six-step approach to utility benchmarking. Policies and Programs summarizes utility benchmarking requirements for HUD programs, opportunities for financial assistance, and HUD programs that support green retrofits.
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.
The ResStock analysis tool is designed to help states, municipalities, utilities, and manufacturers identify which home improvements save the most energy and money.
The Energy Data Accelerator Toolkit is a collection of resources featured in the Better Buildings Solution Center that will enable other utilities and communities to learn and benefit from the work of the Accelerator. It describes the best practices that enabled cities, utilities, and other stakeholders to overcome whole-building data access barriers.
This toolkit was designed to help residential energy efficiency program managers identify resources and opportunities to help contractors, staff, and volunteers enhance their understanding of building science; sales and marketing; program offerings; and business development.
When shopping for a new home, homebuyers look to real estate agents for advice on everything from the best school districts to the name of a good local plumber. Because new owners make many home improvements after purchase, real estate agents have the opportunity to continue as trusted messengers after the closing date. Nonprofit organization Build It Green (BIG) saw an opening: if real estate professionals understand the importance and benefits of energy efficiency, then they can advise clients on how to incorporate efficiency into their home improvements.
The Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES, pronounced "beads" or /bi:ds/) is designed to support analysis of the measured energy performance of commercial, multifamily, and residential buildings, by providing a common data format, definitions, and an exchange protocol for building characteristics, efficiency measures, and energy use.
The Building Performance Database (BPD) is the nation's largest dataset of information about the energy-related characteristics of commercial and residential buildings. The BPD combines, cleanses and anonymizes data collected by Federal, State and local governments, utilities, energy efficiency programs, building owners and private companies, and makes it available to the public. The web site allows users to explore the data across real estate sectors and regions, and compare various physical and operational characteristics to gain a better understanding of market conditions and trends in energy performance.
Focusing on Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a case study, the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America research team IBACOS suggests a win-win between a builder's investment in energy efficiency and that builder's ability to sell homes. Although this research did not ultimately determine why a correlation may exist, a builder's investment in voluntary energy-efficiency programs correlated with that builder's ability to survive the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. This report explores the relationship between energy-efficiency ratings and the market performance of several builders in Colorado Springs.
This case study features Better Buildings Residential Network members Elevate Energy and the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST), nonprofit members that develop energy efficiency solutions for multifamily and affordable housing communities.
Home heating is the largest energy expense for most U.S. homeowners and accounts for nearly 30% of energy used in the nation's residential buildings. Millions of homeowners in colder regions of the country do not have natural gas available, leaving furnaces to be fueled with heating oil, propane, or electricity. This can often result in higher heating bills for homeowners. However, soon, these 2.6 million homeowners living in cold climates will have another, efficient home heating option. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), collaborating with Emerson Climate Technologies, developed a prototype for an air-source heat pump for the colder regions of the country--one that heats better and uses significantly less energy.
The energy efficiency reporting tool for public power utilities 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.
This case study addresses multifamily energy upgrade experiences by two members of the Better Buildings Residential Network—Elevate Energy and the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST).
This online tool was designed to help Americans save money and energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes through recommended, customized, and prioritized home improvement projects. The tool guides homeowners through a do-it-yourself energy assessment to create an ENERGY STAR home profile. Based on the newly created profile, the tool provides customized, prioritized recommendations for improvements. From these recommendations, users can create their own to-do lists of projects and update their home profiles over time as they make improvements. The home profiles can also be printed and used as a marketing advantage when homeowners sell their homes.
This case study features New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC), a member that focuses on financing energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades for multifamily buildings in the city and surrounding communities.
This case study of Arizona Public Service (APS) and Arizona’s HPwES Sponsor, FSL Home Energy Solutions (FSL), focuses on their continuous improvements designed to elevate customer and contractor experience while boosting program cost-effectiveness.
Ivy Knoll Senior Retirement Community used PACE financing to make significant building improvements of systems that were outdated or energy inefficient. Through PACE financing, Ivy Knoll management was able to select improvements that had the highest energy savings but also came with higher upfront costs for the 7-story, all-electric building.
The Better Building Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator (CELICA) was launched in 2016 to help state and local partners across the nation meet their goals for increasing uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in low and moderate income communities. As a part of the Accelerator, DOE created a set of low and moderate income (LMI) energy data profiles to assist partners with understanding their LMI community characteristics. This LMI energy policy and program planning tool provides interactive state, county and city level worksheets with graphs and data including number of households at different income levels and numbers of homeowners versus renters. It provides a breakdown based on fuel type, building type, and construction year. It also provides average monthly energy expenditures and energy burden (percentage of income spent on energy).
National Housing & Rehabilitation Association has collected a number of energy efficiency factsheets and resources on their Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Initiative Library.
In this project, the U.S. Department of Energy Building America team Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR) worked with Elevate Energy on three tasks: to conduct pre- and post-retrofit analysis on the income and expense data of 13 Chicago-area multifamily buildings, to compare Chicago income and expense data to two national samples, and to explore the ramifications that energy-efficiency retrofits have on nine Chicago-area neighborhoods.
Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator (BBEDA) partners Salt Lake City, the investor-owned electric utility Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), and the investor-owned natural gas utility Questar worked with community stakeholders throughout 2014 and 2015 to design and implement a data access solution. As a result, RMP created a data access portal for its customers in 2016, and Questar is working toward a data access solution that will be operational by 2017.
This multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy efficiency improvements as well as annual energy savings of 36 percent and cost savings of more than $210,000 at the Castle Square Apartments, located in Boston's South End.
This multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy improvements as well as annual energy savings of 20 percent and cost savings of nearly $70,000 at the 223 unit Channel Square Apartments, located in Southwest Washington, D.C. The project focused on efficiency measures such as upgrading the central plant boiler and hot water heater, exterior lighting upgrades, window and sliding door replacement, air sealing and insulation of exterior walls and ceilings.
This multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy improvements as well as annual energy savings of nearly 30 percent and cost savings of $108,500 at the Golda Meir House, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly in Newton, MA. Some of the energy efficient measures include: high efficiency windows, wall and roof insulation, LED lighting, Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system, advanced building controls to prevent air conditioning use with open windows, boiler and domestic hot water system with high-efficiency boilers and pumps, baseboard hydronic heat and thru-wall air conditioners with air source heat pumps.
This multifamily showcase project profiles the significant energy improvements as well as annual energy savings of 20 percent and cost savings of $68,000 at Los Robles Apartments located in Union City, CA. Los Robles was one of the first Low Income Housing Preservation and Residential Homeownership Act (LIHPRHA) projects in the country to leverage Low-income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and private capital to finance comprehensive energy- and water-efficiency retrofits.
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 efficiency improvements as well as annual energy savings of 68 percent and cost savings of nearly $300,000 from the redevelopment of The Anne M. Lynch Homes at Old Colony in Boston, MA, which provides deeply affordable housing in extremely energy-efficient buildings.
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 resource, provided by DOE, presents energy market information to help state and local governments plan and implement clean energy projects. The resource also includes a local energy toolbox that provides a cataloged, customizable list of actions to help local communities make strategic energy decisions.
State and Utility Pollution Reduction Calculator Version 2 (SUPR 2) helps policymakers, state governments, utility owners, and other stakeholders understand the costs and benefits of various residential and commercial energy efficiency technologies and policies that will reduce carbon emissions from the power sector.
This advisory addresses the most prominent appraisal issues associated with residential properties exhibiting green features and uses the terms "green" and "high performance" loosely. The structure of this document generally follows the real estate appraisal process and workflow.
This case study interview shares how GTECH (Growth Through Energy and Community Health) Strategies, a Better Buildings Residential Network member, developed and maintains strong strategic partnerships with trusted local companies and organizations to meet a shared goal of completing 100 home energy upgrade projects.
The Better Buildings Residential Network Designing Incentives Toolkit can help residential energy efficiency programs design incentives that motivate potential customers to act by lowering the risk, decreasing the cost, or offering additional benefits with home energy upgrades. This toolkit provides easy access to various case studies, presentations, and tips related to incentive design.
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 case study focuses on how the Community Home Energy Retrofit Project engaged the community in home energy upgrades.
This case study profiles the winner of the 2015 Housing Innovation Awards for DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home built in Durango, CO by Mantell-Hecathorn Builders.
The State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP) reports database includes rebate reports (xls) and summary factsheets (pdf) from states and territories that participated in SEEARP. The successes and challenges of SEEARP provide valuable lessons for designing and running a consumer-focused appliance rebate program.
This case study presents information about the AlabamaWISE program. It includes background information, approaches the program took to enhance home energy efficiency, and results achieved by the program.
This tool lets non-experts evaluate county-level emissions displaced at electric power plants by energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs.
This U.S. Department of Energy Focus Series highlights the BetterBuildings for Michigan program’s community readiness assessment tool.
List of building energy software packages, some of which are available for free or a small fee.
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.
The Database for Incentives and Joint Marketing Exchange (DIME) is an online, searchable tool to help manufacturers and retailers identify incentive and marketing opportunities for promoting ENERGY STAR certified products, and to enable all partners to coordinate with the appropriate contact from other partner organizations on promotional opportunities.
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.
A calculator that converts greenhouse gas emissions into everyday equivalencies. It can be used to help clearly communicate information about energy savings initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Financing Program Decision Tool is for state and local governments just starting their clean energy financing programs. The tool provides information on the different types of financing available and helps users identify the best options for their program.
This case study discusses Denver Energy Challenge's adjustment from focusing on door-to-door outreach to an energy advisor model that allowed customers to receive one on one support throughout the home energy upgrade process.
In this video interview segment, Ludy Biddle with Neighborworks of Western Vermont describes the benefits of one-on-one communications between customers and the Neighborhood H.E.A.T. Squad program's energy advisors.
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.
The Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED)™ Platform is a software application that helps organizations easily manage data on the energy performance of large groups of buildings. Users can combine data from multiple sources, clean and validate it, and share the information with others. The software application provides an easy, flexible, and cost-effective method to improve the quality and availability of data to help demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency, to implement programs, and to target investment activity.
The State Energy Data System (SEDS) is the source of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) comprehensive state energy statistics. EIA’s goal in maintaining SEDS is to create historical time series of energy production, consumption, prices, and expenditures by state that are defined as consistently as possible over time and across sectors for analysis and forecasting purposes.
This database provides comprehensive information on state, federal, local, and utility incentives and policies that are in place to support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
This website provides information on U.S. housing characteristics, including energy consumption data.
The Best Practices Self-Benchmarking Tool can be used to identify in your own programs their strengths, areas of improvement needed, and strategies for improving them, based on the results of the Best Practices Study.
This tool, developed in Excel, supports the development and analysis of residential energy efficiency programs using standard cost-effectiveness analysis methods. Policy makers, utilities, energy efficiency program managers, architects and engineers may find the tool useful for supporting and scaling up residential energy efficiency programs. The tool estimates cost-effectiveness, using industry standard approaches, of both deep-home energy efficiency retrofits and individual measures. The user can build up a program based on up to 5 different ‘project types’ (or measures implemented) and identify the number of homes to be targeted for retrofits over the program cycle. The tool reports cost-effectiveness metrics of the program, including program budgets, and allows the user to conduct sensitivity analysis against key inputs.
This database (in development) contains information about existing energy efficiency loan programs in the United States. For each loan program the following data is presented: financing mechanism (e.g., credit enhancement, on-bill financing), market (e.g., city, state), sector (e.g., residential single family, residential multi-family), and program sponsorship (e.g., DOE programs, ARRA, private lenders).
This case study highlights the Help My House Pilot Program conducted in South Carolina by Central Electric Power Cooperative that included on-bill financing.
This web-based database, created by Home Energy home performance magazine, enables users to search for training programs nationwide. Users can filter training programs by weatherization training areas, BPI certifications, and more.
The downloadable Self-Scoring Tool gives you the ability to score the energy efficiency efforts of your community and compare it against your peers. By answering a series of questions, you will obtain a numerical score indicative of your community’s progress toward enacting and implementing sound energy programs and policies.
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 toolkit distills Enterprise's experience retrofitting multifamily affordable housing into the critical steps necessary for success. It is a roadmap for multifamily housing owners, investors, and developers which outlines a comprehensive, cost-effective approach to retrofit.
Links to case studies of residential projects and contractors under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)'s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.
This report highlights program and policy attributes that enable successful on-bill programs based on analysis of four program case studies.
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.
The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) Resource Portal serves as an EM&V resource one-stop shop for energy efficiency program administrators and project managers. The resources focus on tools and approaches that can be applied nationwide, address EM&V consistency, and are recognized by the industry.