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Title: Bainbridge Energy Challenge. Energy efficiency and conservation block grant (EECBG) - Better buildings neighborhood program. Final Technical Report

Abstract

RePower Bainbridge and Bremerton (RePower) is a residential energy-efficiency and conservation program designed to foster a sustainable, clean, and renewable energy economy. The program was a 3.5 year effort in the cities of Bainbridge Island and Bremerton, Washington, to conserve and reduce energy use, establish a trained home performance trade ally network, and create local jobs. RePower was funded through a $4.8 million grant from the US Department of Energy, Better Buildings Program. The grant’s performance period was August 1, 2010 through March 30, 2014.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Conservation Services Group, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1120149
Report Number(s):
DOE-BBNP-0003805
DOE Contract Number:
EE0003805
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION

Citation Formats

Kraus, Yvonne X. Bainbridge Energy Challenge. Energy efficiency and conservation block grant (EECBG) - Better buildings neighborhood program. Final Technical Report. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1120149.
Kraus, Yvonne X. Bainbridge Energy Challenge. Energy efficiency and conservation block grant (EECBG) - Better buildings neighborhood program. Final Technical Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1120149.
Kraus, Yvonne X. Fri . "Bainbridge Energy Challenge. Energy efficiency and conservation block grant (EECBG) - Better buildings neighborhood program. Final Technical Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1120149. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1120149.
@article{osti_1120149,
title = {Bainbridge Energy Challenge. Energy efficiency and conservation block grant (EECBG) - Better buildings neighborhood program. Final Technical Report},
author = {Kraus, Yvonne X.},
abstractNote = {RePower Bainbridge and Bremerton (RePower) is a residential energy-efficiency and conservation program designed to foster a sustainable, clean, and renewable energy economy. The program was a 3.5 year effort in the cities of Bainbridge Island and Bremerton, Washington, to conserve and reduce energy use, establish a trained home performance trade ally network, and create local jobs. RePower was funded through a $4.8 million grant from the US Department of Energy, Better Buildings Program. The grant’s performance period was August 1, 2010 through March 30, 2014.},
doi = {10.2172/1120149},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 14 00:00:00 EST 2014},
month = {Fri Feb 14 00:00:00 EST 2014}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge (N2N) brought together a consortium of 14 leading clean energy rural, suburban, and low income communities throughout Connecticut. N2N was awarded $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) competitive BetterBuildings Neighborhood Program on August 10, 2010 to run a two-year pilot program (plus one year of transition and evaluation) (Award No. EMCBC- 00969-10). N2N tested innovative program models and hypotheses for improving Connecticut’s existing residential energy efficiency programs that are overseen by the ratepayer fund board and administered by CT utilities. N2N’s original goal was to engage 10 percent of households inmore » participating communities to reduce their energy usage by 20 percent through energy upgrades and clean energy measures. N2N planned for customers to complete more comprehensive whole-home energy efficiency and clean energy measures and to achieve broader penetration than existing utility-administered regulated programs. Since this was an ARRA award, we report the following figures on job creation in Table 1. Since N2N is not continuing in its current form, we do not provide figures on job retention. Table 1 N2N Job Creation by Quarter Jobs Created 2010 Q4 6.65 2011 Q1 7.13 2011 Q2 4.98 2011 Q3 9.66 2011 Q4 5.43 2012 Q1 11.11 2012 Q2 6.85 2012 Q3 6.29 2012 Q4 6.77 2013 Q1 5.57 2013 Q2 8.35 2013 Q3 6.52 Total 85.31 The N2N team encountered several gaps in the existing efficiency program performance that hindered meeting N2N’s and DOE’s short-term program goals, as well as the State of Connecticut’s long-term energy, efficiency, and carbon reduction goals. However, despite the slow program start, N2N found evidence of increasing upgrade uptake rates over time, due to delayed customer action of one to two years from N2N introduction to completion of deeper household upgrades. Two main social/behavioral principles have contributed to driving deeper upgrades in CT: 1. Word of mouth, where people share their experience with others, which leads to others to take action; and 2. Self-herding, where people follow past behavior, which leads to deeper and deeper actions within individual households.« less
  • The original BetterBuildings for Greensboro grant program included an outreach campaign to inform 100% of the Greensboro community about the benefits of reducing energy use; a plan to reduce energy consumption in at least 34% of the homes and 10% of the other buildings in the east Greensboro target area; and a plan to create and retain jobs in the energy conservation industry. Under the original program structure the City of Greensboro planned to partner with local and regional lenders to create a diversified portfolio of loan products to meet the needs of various income levels and building types. Allmore » participants would participate in the loan programs as a method of meeting the program’s 5 to1 private capital match/leverage requirements. In June 2011 the program was restructured to include partnerships with large commercial and multifamily projects, with these partners providing the greater portion of the required match/leverage. The geographic focus was revised to include reducing energy consumption across the entire City of Greensboro, targeting neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-moderate income households and aged housing stock. The community outreach component used a neighborhood-based approach to train community residents and volunteers to conduct door-to-door neighborhood sweeps; delivered high quality information on available program resources; helped residents to evaluate alternative energy efficiency measures and alternative financing sources; assisted with contractor selections and monitoring/evaluation of work; coordinated activities with BetterBuildings program partners; and collected data required by the Department of Energy. Additionally, HERO (Home Energy Response Officers) delivered intro packages (energy efficiency information and products) to thousands of households at the initial point of contact. A pilot program (Early Adopters) was offered from March 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011. The Early Adopters program was designed to offer immediate assistance to property owners ready and able to make their homes more energy efficient, by offering a rebate on their energy assessment and on the cost of upgrades installed. Eligible energy efficient upgrades were inclusive of basic level insulating and weather-stripping, HVAC system and water heater upgrades, to whole home upgrades that include the replacement of windows, doors and appliances. Renewable energy systems such as solar hot water systems were also eligible for the rebate program.« less
  • The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (Energy Alliance) is a nonprofit economic development agency dedicated to helping Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities reduce energy consumption. The Energy Alliance has launched programs to educate homeowners, commercial property owners, and nonprofit organizations about energy efficiency opportunities they can use to drive energy use reductions and financial savings, while extending significant focus to creating/retaining jobs through these programs. The mission of the Energy Alliance is based on the premise that investment in energy efficiency can lead to transformative economic development in a region. With support from seven municipalities, the Energy Alliance began operationmore » in early 2010 and has been among the fastest growing nonprofit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. The Energy Alliance offers two programs endorsed by the Department of Energy: the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program for homeowners and the Better Buildings Performance Program for commercial entities. Both programs couple expert guidance, project management, and education in energy efficiency best practices with incentives and innovative energy efficiency financing to help building owners effectively invest in the energy efficiency, comfort, health, longevity, and environmental impact of their residential or commercial buildings. The Energy Alliance has raised over $23 million of public and private capital to build a robust market for energy efficiency investment. Of the $23 million, $17 million was a direct grant from the Department of Energy Better Buildings Neighborhood Program (BBNP). The organization’s investments in energy efficiency projects in the residential and commercial sector have led to well over $50 million in direct economic activity and created over 375,000 hours of labor created or retained. In addition, over 250 workers have been trained through the Building Performance Training Center, a program that was developed and funded by the Energy Alliance and housed at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Nearly 100 residential and commercial contractors currently participate in the Energy Alliance’s two major programs, which have together served over 2,800 residential and 100 commercial customers. Additionally, the Energy Alliance established loan programs for homeowners, nonprofits and commercial businesses. The GC-HELP program was established to provide up to ten year low interest, unsecured loans to homeowners to cover the energy efficiency products they purchased through the Energy Alliance approved contractor base. To date the Energy Alliance has financed over $1 million in energy efficiency loans for homeowners, without any loans written off. The nonprofit business community is offered five year, fixed-interest rate loans through the Building Communities Loan Fund of $250,000. Additionally, the Energy Alliance has developed GC-PACE, a commercial financing tool that enables buildings owners to finance their energy upgrades through voluntary property assessments deploying low-interest extended-term capital from the bond market. The Energy Alliance and its partners are actively evaluating additional market-based financing solutions.« less
  • The City of Lowell set four goals at the beginning of the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program: 1. Improve the Downtown Historic Park District’s Carbon Footprint 2. Develop a sustainable and replicable model for energy efficiency in historic buildings 3. Create and retain jobs 4. Promote multi-stakeholder partnerships The City of Lowell, MA was awarded $5 million in May 2010 to conduct energy efficiency retrofits within the downtown National Historical Park (NHP). The City’s target was to complete retrofits in 200,000 square feet of commercial space and create 280 jobs, while adhering to the strict historical preservation regulations that govern themore » NHP. The development of a model for energy efficiency in historic buildings was successfully accomplished. BetterBuildings Lowell’s success in energy efficiency in historic buildings was due to the simplicity of the program. We relied strongly on the replacement of antiquated HVAC systems and air sealing and a handful of talented energy auditors and contractors. BetterBuildings Lowell was unique for the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program because it was the only program that focused solely on commercial properties. BetterBuildings Lowell did target multi-family properties, which were reported as commercial, but the majority of the building types and uses were commercial. Property types targeted were restaurants, office buildings, museums, sections of larger buildings, mixed use buildings, and multifamily buildings. This unique fabric of building type and use allows for a deeper understanding to how different properties use energy. Because of the National Historical Park designation of downtown Lowell, being able to implement energy efficiency projects within a highly regulated historical district also provided valuable research and precedent proving energy efficiency projects can be successfully completed in historical districts and historical buildings. Our program was very successful in working with the local Historic Board, which has jurisdiction in the NHP. The Historic Board was cooperative with any exterior renovations as long as they were not changing the existing aesthetics of the property. If we were replacing a rooftop condenser it needed to be placed where the existing rooftop condenser was located. Receiving proper approval from the Historic Board for any external energy conservation measures was known by all the participating contractors. One area of the retrofits that was contentious regarded venting of the new HVAC equipment. Installing external stacks was not allowed so the contractors had to negotiate with the Historic Board regarding the proper way to vent the equipment that met the needs mechanically and aesthetically. Overall BetterBuildings Lowell was successful at implementing energy and cost saving measures into 31 commercial properties located within the NHP. The 31 retrofits had 1,554,768 square feet of commercial and multifamily housing and a total predicted energy savings exceeding 22,869 a year. Overall the City of Lowell achieved its target goals and is satisfied with the accomplishments of the BetterBuildings program. The City will continue to pursue energy efficient programs and projects.« less
  • This report covers the grant performance period of July 1, 2010-September 30, 2013 and discusses of the program design, outcomes and best practices as they relate to the following six areas: 1. Institutional Design and Business Model; 2. Program Design and Customer Experience; 3. Driving Demand; 4. Workforce Development; 5. Financing and Incentives; 6. Data and Evaluation.