This report summarizes relevant findings from available literature and research that were evaluated to better quantify the potential benefits of improving current installation practices for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment in existing homes (i.e., equipment replacements).
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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.
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.
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.
This guidance document provides background and instructions for program administrators to use the data collected by smart thermostats to calculate energy savings for a program.
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 paper examines criteria for a comparative assessment of multiple financing programs for energy efficiency, developed through a statewide public process in California.
Energy Trust of Oregon’s contractor selection tips provide several considerations for choosing an energy efficiency contractor.
This report documents the results of an analysis of the electric end-use energy efficiency potential in the U.S. single-family detached housing stock. Technical and economic potential estimates inform the role that residential energy efficiency plays in addressing the objectives of reliable, affordable, and clean electricity for residential end uses.
This report is part of a series of "baseline" reports intended to inform the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2). QER 1.2 provides a comprehensive review of the nation's electricity system and cover the current state and key trends related to the electricity system, including generation, transmission, distribution, grid operations and planning, and end use. The baseline reports provide an overview of elements of the electricity system. This report focuses on end uses, electricity consumption, electric energy efficiency, distributed energy resources (DERs) (such as demand response, distributed generation, and distributed storage), and evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) methods for energy efficiency and DERs.
A comprehensive source of data on the environmental characteristics of almost all electric power generated in the United States.
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.
State and local governments across the U.S. are focused on how clean energy can help them meet a variety of energy, economic development, and environmental goals. An early step for most energy efficiency planning involves identifying and quantifying energy savings opportunities, followed by understanding how to access this efficiency potential. This website includes national and state-level energy efficiency potential studies for the residential, commercial, and industrial sector. It introduces presentations on how building energy codes, city-led efforts, energy savings performance contracting (ESPC), industrial, and ratepayer-funded efforts can support state energy planning.
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.
This guide helps real estate professionals understand how to provide home energy information to consumers and helps facilitate multiple listing services in delivering verified energy data.
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 market snapshot of HVAC installation verification tools illustratively presents the categories and uses for the growing market of tools.
This HVAC verifications tool selection guide includes a cross-walk of tool categories with target user audience, benefits and features. This matrix can assist contractors, programs, utilities and others in selecting the appropriate resources to support installation and performance measurement.
This paper gives municipal leaders tools to assess local energy resilience, a new term for the interconnection of community resilience and various aspects of energy supply and consumption. It looks at different aspects of this concept, like thermal building performance and transportation connectivity, and methods communities can use to assess them.
The adoption of intelligent efficiency applications is increasing across multiple sectors of the economy. This report analyzes over two dozen of these applications in the buildings, manufacturing, transportation, and government sectors. We describe the technologies involved, characterize their use, and quantify their deployment. We also look at several enabling and cross-cutting technologies and the use of intelligent efficiency in utility-sector energy efficiency programs.
This report provides a comprehensive review and analysis of home energy upgrade programs with proven track records, focusing on those with robustly verified savings and constituting good examples for replication. This meta-analysis describes program models and implementation strategies for direct install upgrades; heating, HVAC replacement and early retirement; and comprehensive, whole-home upgrades.
This guide is designed to help environmental agencies better understand the array of Lean methods and when to consider using each method. The guide focuses primarily on Lean production, which is an organizational improvement philosophy and set of methods that originated in manufacturing but has been expanded to government and service sectors.
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.
The population of HVAC and home performance buyers is largely made up of baby boomers. The goal of this guide is to explain why programs should consider the baby boomer audience and outline the best ways to market to this audience.
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 white paper covers a few of the business-to-business marketing goals including social media strategies critical for an energy auditing business in today's world, while providing insights into how to make the most of these efforts.
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 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.
This comprehensive national guide provides a step-by-step process to apply the Resource Value Framework and allow jurisdictions to develop their own primary cost-effectiveness test -- the Resource Value Test. It provides guidance using lessons learned in state and local jurisdictions over 20 years.
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.
These policies provide protections for homeowners using PACE to invest in clean energy, energy efficiency, and water efficiency home upgrades. The standards address eligibility, repayment, disclosures, privacy concerns, contractor conduct, and operational requirements for PACE Programs.
This document covers preliminary findings from research on installation practices for the residential retrofit HVAC market.
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.
The report summarizes a survey of realtors about sustainability issues facing the real estate industry nationally and regionally.
The ResStock analysis tool is designed to help states, municipalities, utilities, and manufacturers identify which home improvements save the most energy and money.
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 white paper covers the very basics of social media for home performance businesses. It describes how to set up a Home Performance profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Home Energy Pros; content creation ideas for social media accounts; and advanced strategies for improving reach in social media.
This white paper focuses on when to consider paid Facebook ads for building brand awareness and conversion on your organization’s website. It also reviews the most effective tactics for ad creation, targeting, and implementation.
The Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors provides tips to hiring a contractor, warnings about inexperienced contractors, and information on contracting license requirements and how to verify a license certificate.
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 technical brief presents trends in the cost of saved electricity for energy efficiency programs between 2009 and 2013. For this report, LBNL collected and analyzed more than 5,400 program years of data collected in 36 states from 78 administrators of programs funded by customers of investor-owned utilities. These administrators provide efficiency programs to customers of investor-owned utilities that serve about half of total U.S. electricity load.
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 report discusses how information technologies (IT) and communication networks are enabling new ways of tracking and analyzing the benefits of saving energy. Automated data collection and processing, enabled by inexpensive sensors, WiFi networks, and cloud computing, are reducing the time and expense required to determine the value of nonenergy benefits. This report explores new techniques for data gathering and analysis, what they could mean for energy efficiency programs, and how they might impact state and utility policies.
This pamphlet from the California Contractors State License Board provides general advice for hiring a contractor and a construction project checklist.
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.
This report focuses on six energy efficiency areas for state and local governments to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial and multifamily buildings, which include strengthening market demand and expanding public-private partnerships.
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.
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.
This document provides updated best practice guidelines to help implement the Policy Framework for PACE Financing Programs, initially announced on October 18, 2009. DOE has developed these revisions to the original “Guidelines for Pilot PACE Financing Programs,” initially issued on May 7, 2010, to reflect the evolving structure of the PACE market and incorporate lessons learned from various PACE programs that have been successfully implemented. The revised and updated guidelines focus specifically on best practices and guidelines for residential PACE financing programs.
This paper is intended to guide state governments on Clean Power Plan compliance and shows how leading by example in state and local government programs communicates an agency’s commitment to reducing energy consumption, protecting facilities, and protecting taxpayer dollars.
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.
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 document summarizes the findings of a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analysis on how whole-building data aggregation thresholds statistically affect customer privacy.
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.
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.
This study focused on barriers to, and opportunities for, solar photovoltaic energy generation; opportunities for, access to other renewable energy by low-income customers; contracting opportunities for local small businesses in disadvantaged communities; low-income customers to energy efficiency and weatherization investments, including those in disadvantaged communities. It also provides recommendations on how to increase access to energy efficiency and weatherization investments to low-income customers.
This report explores how governments and energy efficiency implementers could help stakeholders better analyze and act upon building performance data to unlock savings.
This paper presents results from three surveys of homeowners, renters, and contractors, which compared their perceptions and priorities for healthy housing to the principles of indoor air and environmental quality. Survey results indicate that: nearly one quarter of homeowners had some concern about healthy-home problems or risks; homeowners cited indoor air quality issues as their leading concern, followed by water quality, harmful materials and chemicals, and indoor environmental quality (such as noise or light pollution).
This paper defines customer engagement, illustrates how engagement platforms can be used in energy efficiency programs, and presents guidelines to help program administrators plan, design, implement, and evaluate a modern, integrated, and efficient customer engagement platform. It also covers how advances in big data and tracking systems can support platforms that are technology-enabled, center on customer needs, leverage psychosocial drivers and data analytics, and employ mechanisms to foster long-term trust and loyalty. Effective customer engagement can also lead to higher satisfaction levels, greater energy savings, and more persistence of savings.
Behavioral change programs are not necessarily a separate category of efficiency efforts; rather, behavioral approaches can be effectively integrated into all programs in residential, commercial, or industrial settings. As increased connectivity within homes and businesses expands opportunities to provide energy information, the role of behavior will likely become even more prominent. Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Inc. (CEE) provides this webpage dedicated to behavior change resources.