Tools & Calculators
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 tool lets non-experts evaluate county-level emissions displaced at electric power plants by energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs.
List of building energy software packages, some of which are available for free or a small fee.
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.
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.
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 website provides information on U.S. housing characteristics, including energy consumption data.
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.
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).
An interactive website that provides residential building professionals with access to expert information on hundreds of high-performance design and construction topics, including air sealing and insulation, HVAC components, windows, indoor air quality, and much more.
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.
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.
This map shows how accessible U.S. electric utility company electricity use data is for both residential and commercial customers. The map is updated regularly based on responses received to date.
A tool that estimates the air quality, human health, and related economic co-benefits (such as energy efficiency) of initiatives that reduce air emissions.
A tool that provides information on the air emissions attributable to the electricity used in a home or business during one year, along with a description of what these numbers mean in everyday terms and information on how to be more energy efficient or buy green power.
This practitioner-focused Toolkit for Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrade Programs was created by Green For All to assist new, established, and future energy efficiency programs launch and scale initiatives that can deliver the full promise of the green economy. It is intended as a practical resource that offers examples, tools, and templates that a program manager can deploy to implement a variety of aspects of their program including best practice briefs and summary documents, RFPs, contracts, and other program design and implementation templates that communities nationwide have used to create their own efficiency programs.
This toolkit provides information about including and using relevant green data fields in the MLS. This information can help buyers quickly find green homes; make it easy to promote the special features of a green home; and support comparisons when it is time to appraise a green home.
A pro forma is a tool of forecasting the impact that adjustments to a business model can have on future financials, using a set of assumptions and inputs. In the residential energy efficiency industry, programs can use pro forma tools to forecast the impact that marketing campaigns, incentive re-structuring, or other program changes will have on the program budget and results. Example assumptions include the number of homeowner registrations that a set of marketing activities generate in a year, average assessment to upgrade conversion rate, and average incentive per project. By applying assumptions such as these, a pro forma tool can also help your program determine how effective various strategies are at achieving program goals and objectives. Program administrators can help contractors by supporting them with their own business pro forma. To help you get started, here are a few useful resources: the National Home Performance Council developed a presentation on their Integrated Pro Forma Project; for an example program pro forma, see the presentation by Virginia’s Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP-VA); the National Home Performance Council also developed the Contractor Pro Forma Tool.
Tool to evaluate contractor impacts on program revenue.
An Excel-based example of a financing program model.
This document provides a tutorial of MY ENERGY STAR Account (MESA). MESA is a Web portal that houses program marks for ENERGY STAR Sponsors and contractors as well as various marketing pieces.
Table showing business model frameworks, their relevance, key metrics, and questions for consideration.
REED serves as a dashboard for the consistent reporting of electric and natural gas energy efficiency program energy and demand savings and associated costs, avoided emissions and job impacts across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. REED is a project of NEEP's Regional Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Forum (EM&V Forum) and is based on the EM&V Forum's Common Statewide Energy Efficiency Reporting Guidelines.
These training materials include over 30 lesson plans for high school and college students, building and trade professionals, and clean energy employers. Topics include energy efficiency measure installation and best practices in developing train-the-trainer programs for construction trade programs at vocational schools, to programs for undergraduate and graduate students that address the engineering, business, and economics of clean energy.
This calculator provides a simplified tool to demonstrate the business case for energy efficiency from the perspective of the consumer, the utility, and society.
This website provides resources for those working to foster sustainable behaviors. Users can access to the book, Fostering Sustainable Behavior; search databases of articles, case studies, and turnkey strategies; and participate in discussion forums.
This website provides current data on a wide range of national housing and demographic characteristics.
The Buildings Performance Database (BPD) is the largest national dataset of real building performance data, and enables users to perform statistical analysis on an anonymous dataset of hundreds of thousands of commercial and residential buildings from across the country. One of the most powerful applications of the tool is custom peer group analysis, in which users can examine specific building types and geographic areas, compare performance trends among similar buildings, identify and prioritize cost-saving energy efficiency improvements, and assess the range of likely savings from these improvements.
This table identifies several challenges and the strategies and tactics that can be used to overcome them.