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Title: Keys to the House: Unlocking Residential Savings With Program Models for Home Energy Upgrades

Abstract

After more than 40 years of effort, energy efficiency program administrators and associated contractors still find it challenging to penetrate the home retrofit market, especially at levels commensurate with state and federal goals for energy savings and emissions reductions. Residential retrofit programs further have not coalesced around a reliably successful model. They still vary in design, implementation and performance, and they remain among the more difficult and costly options for acquiring savings in the residential sector. If programs are to contribute fully to meeting resource and policy objectives, administrators need to understand what program elements are key to acquiring residential savings as cost effectively as possible. To that end, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored 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. The study team reviewed evaluations for the period 2010 to 2014 for 134 programs that are funded by customers of investor-owned utilities. All are programs that promote multi-measure retrofits or major system upgrades. We paid particular attention to useful design and implementation features, costs, and savings for nearly 30 programs with rigorous evaluations of performance. This meta-analysismore » describes program models and implementation strategies for (1) direct install retrofits; (2) heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) replacement and early retirement; and (3) comprehensive, whole-home retrofits. We analyze costs and impacts of these program models, in terms of both energy savings and emissions avoided. These program models can be useful guides as states consider expanding their strategies for acquiring energy savings as a resource and for emissions reductions. We also discuss the challenges of using evaluations to create program models that can be confidently applied in multiple jurisdictions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Energy Futures Group (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. US Department of Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1393632
Report Number(s):
LBNL-2001035
ark:/13030/qt18d545f1
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION

Citation Formats

Grevatt, Jim, Hoffman, Ian, and Hoffmeyer, Dale. Keys to the House: Unlocking Residential Savings With Program Models for Home Energy Upgrades. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1393632.
Grevatt, Jim, Hoffman, Ian, & Hoffmeyer, Dale. Keys to the House: Unlocking Residential Savings With Program Models for Home Energy Upgrades. United States. doi:10.2172/1393632.
Grevatt, Jim, Hoffman, Ian, and Hoffmeyer, Dale. Wed . "Keys to the House: Unlocking Residential Savings With Program Models for Home Energy Upgrades". United States. doi:10.2172/1393632. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1393632.
@article{osti_1393632,
title = {Keys to the House: Unlocking Residential Savings With Program Models for Home Energy Upgrades},
author = {Grevatt, Jim and Hoffman, Ian and Hoffmeyer, Dale},
abstractNote = {After more than 40 years of effort, energy efficiency program administrators and associated contractors still find it challenging to penetrate the home retrofit market, especially at levels commensurate with state and federal goals for energy savings and emissions reductions. Residential retrofit programs further have not coalesced around a reliably successful model. They still vary in design, implementation and performance, and they remain among the more difficult and costly options for acquiring savings in the residential sector. If programs are to contribute fully to meeting resource and policy objectives, administrators need to understand what program elements are key to acquiring residential savings as cost effectively as possible. To that end, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored 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. The study team reviewed evaluations for the period 2010 to 2014 for 134 programs that are funded by customers of investor-owned utilities. All are programs that promote multi-measure retrofits or major system upgrades. We paid particular attention to useful design and implementation features, costs, and savings for nearly 30 programs with rigorous evaluations of performance. This meta-analysis describes program models and implementation strategies for (1) direct install retrofits; (2) heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) replacement and early retirement; and (3) comprehensive, whole-home retrofits. We analyze costs and impacts of these program models, in terms of both energy savings and emissions avoided. These program models can be useful guides as states consider expanding their strategies for acquiring energy savings as a resource and for emissions reductions. We also discuss the challenges of using evaluations to create program models that can be confidently applied in multiple jurisdictions.},
doi = {10.2172/1393632},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jul 05 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Jul 05 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Policy makers and program designers in the U.S. and abroad are deeply concerned with the question of how to scale up energy efficiency to a level that is commensurate both to the scale of the energy and climate challenges we face, and to the potential for energy savings that has been touted for decades. When policy makers ask what energy efficiency can do, the answers usually revolve around the technical and economic potential of energy efficiency - they rarely hone in on the element of energy demand that matters most for changing energy usage in existing homes: the consumer. Amore » growing literature is concerned with the behavioral underpinnings of energy consumption. We examine a narrower, related subject: How can millions of Americans be persuaded to divert valued time and resources into upgrading their homes to eliminate energy waste, avoid high utility bills, and spur the economy? With hundreds of millions of public dollars flowing into incentives, workforce training, and other initiatives to support comprehensive home energy improvements, it makes sense to review the history of these programs and begin gleaning best practices for encouraging comprehensive home energy improvements. Looking across 30 years of energy efficiency programs that targeted the residential market, many of the same issues that confronted past program administrators are relevant today: How do we cost-effectively motivate customers to take action? Who can we partner with to increase program participation? How do we get residential efficiency programs to scale? While there is no proven formula - and only limited success to date with reliably motivating large numbers of Americans to invest in comprehensive home energy improvements, especially if they are being asked to pay for a majority of the improvement costs - there is a rich and varied history of experiences that new programs can draw upon. Our primary audiences are policy makers and program designers - especially those that are relatively new to the field, such as the over 2,000 towns, cities, states, and regions who are recipients of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds for clean energy programs. This report synthesizes lessons from first generation programs, highlights emerging best practices, and suggests methods and approaches to use in designing, implementing, and evaluating these programs. We examined 14 residential energy efficiency programs, conducted an extensive literature review, interviewed industry experts, and surveyed residential contractors to draw out these lessons.« less
  • Expanding on previous research by PARR, this study compares measure packages installed during 800 Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R) (IHP) residential retrofits to those recommended as cost-optimal by Building Energy Optimization (BEopt) modeling software. In previous research, cost-optimal measure packages were identified for fifteen Chicagoland single family housing archetypes, called housing groups. In the present study, 800 IHP homes are first matched to one of these fifteen housing groups, and then the average measures being installed in each housing group are modeled using BEopt to estimate energy savings. For most housing groups, the differences between recommended and installed measuremore » packages is substantial. By comparing actual IHP retrofit measures to BEopt-recommended cost-optimal measures, missed savings opportunities are identified in some housing groups; also, valuable information is obtained regarding housing groups where IHP achieves greater savings than BEopt-modeled, cost-optimal recommendations. Additionally, a measure-level sensitivity analysis conducted for one housing group reveals which measures may be contributing the most to gas and electric savings. Overall, the study finds not only that for some housing groups, the average IHP retrofit results in more energy savings than would result from cost-optimal, BEopt recommended measure packages, but also that linking home categorization to standardized retrofit measure packages provides an opportunity to streamline the process for single family home energy retrofits and maximize both energy savings and cost-effectiveness.« less
  • Expanding on previous research by PARR, this study compares measure packages installed during 800 Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (IHP) residential retrofits to those recommended as cost-optimal by Building Energy Optimization (BEopt) modeling software. In previous research, cost-optimal measure packages were identified for fifteen Chicagoland single family housing archetypes, called housing groups. In the present study, 800 IHP homes are first matched to one of these fifteen housing groups, and then the average measures being installed in each housing group are modeled using BEopt to estimate energy savings. For most housing groups, the differences between recommended and installed measuremore » packages is substantial. By comparing actual IHP retrofit measures to BEopt-recommended cost-optimal measures, missed savings opportunities are identified in some housing groups; also, valuable information is obtained regarding housing groups where IHP achieves greater savings than BEopt-modeled, cost-optimal recommendations. Additionally, a measure-level sensitivity analysis conducted for one housing group reveals which measures may be contributing the most to gas and electric savings. Overall, the study finds not only that for some housing groups, the average IHP retrofit results in more energy savings than would result from cost-optimal, BEopt-recommended measure packages, but also that linking home categorization to standardized retrofit measure packages provides an opportunity to streamline the process for single family home energy retrofits and maximize both energy savings and cost-effectiveness.« less
  • Expanding on previous research by PARR, this study compares measure packages installed during 800 Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR┬« (IHP) residential retrofits to those recommended as cost-optimal by Building Energy Optimization (BEopt) modeling software. In previous research, cost-optimal measure packages were identified for 15 Chicagoland single family housing archetypes. In the present study, 800 IHP homes are first matched to one of these 15 housing groups, and then the average measures being installed in each housing group are modeled using BEopt to estimate energy savings. For most housing groups, the differences between recommended and installed measure packages is substantial.more » By comparing actual IHP retrofit measures to BEopt-recommended cost-optimal measures, missed savings opportunities are identified in some housing groups; also, valuable information is obtained regarding housing groups where IHP achieves greater savings than BEopt-modeled, cost-optimal recommendations. Additionally, a measure-level sensitivity analysis conducted for one housing group reveals which measures may be contributing the most to gas and electric savings. Overall, the study finds not only that for some housing groups, the average IHP retrofit results in more energy savings than would result from cost-optimal, BEopt recommended measure packages, but also that linking home categorization to standardized retrofit measure packages provides an opportunity to streamline the process for single family home energy retrofits and maximize both energy savings and cost effectiveness.« less
  • To meet current U.S. Department of Energy zero-energy home performance goals, new technologies and solutions must increase whole-house efficiency savings by an additional 40% relative to those provided by best available components and systems.