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Title: Evaluation of the District of Columbia Energy Office Residential Conservation Assistance Program for Natural Gas-Heated Single-Family Homes

Abstract

At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with assistance from the District of Columbia Energy Office (DCEO) performed an evaluation of part of the DCEO Residential Conservation Assistance Program (RCAP). The primary objective of the evaluation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the DCEO weatherization program. Because Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds are used primarily for weatherization of single-family homes and because evaluating the performance of multi-family residences would be more complex than the project budget would support, ORNL and DCEO focused the study on gas-heated single-family homes. DCEO provided treatment information and arranged for the gas utility to provide billing data for 100 treatment houses and 434 control houses. The Princeton Scorkeeping Method (PRISM) software package was used to normalize energy use for standard weather conditions. The houses of the initial treatment group of 100 houses received over 450 measures costing a little over $180,000, including labor and materials. The average cost per house was $1,811 and the median cost per house was $1,674. Window replacement was the most common measure and accounted for about 35% of total expenditures. Ceiling and floor insulation was installed in 61 houses and accounts formore » almost 22% of the expenditures. Twenty-seven houses received replacement doors at an average cost of $620 per house. Eight houses received furnace or boiler replacements at an average cost of about $3,000 per house. The control-adjusted average measured savings are about 20 therms/year. The 95% confidence interval is approximately +20 to +60 therms/year. The average pre-weatherization energy consumption of the houses was about 1,100 therm/year. Consequently, the adjusted average savings is approximately 2% ({+-}4%)-not significantly different than zero. Most RCAP expenditures appear to go to repairs. While some repairs may have energy benefits, measures selected to meet repair needs generally have smaller energy benefits per unit cost than measures selected for energy conservation purposes. To the extent that extensive repairs are necessary or desirable, expectations of energy savings need to be adjusted. Since 2002, the DCEO has implemented a number of program improvements it believes enhance program performance. In 2003, DCEO published formal guidance for weatherization in RCAP (DCEO 2003). Consequently, the results of this study may not adequately represent the current performance of the program. DCEO should re-examine current RCAP weatherization patterns and energy savings to assess the effects of program changes.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Work for Others (WFO)
OSTI Identifier:
931525
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-CON/500
TRN: US200813%%303
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; HOUSES; GAS FURNACES; NATURAL GAS; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; ENERGY CONSERVATION; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; EVALUATION; WASHINGTON DC; WEATHERIZATION; THERMAL INSULATION

Citation Formats

McCold, Lance Neil, and Schmoyer, Richard L. Evaluation of the District of Columbia Energy Office Residential Conservation Assistance Program for Natural Gas-Heated Single-Family Homes. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/931525.
McCold, Lance Neil, & Schmoyer, Richard L. Evaluation of the District of Columbia Energy Office Residential Conservation Assistance Program for Natural Gas-Heated Single-Family Homes. United States. doi:10.2172/931525.
McCold, Lance Neil, and Schmoyer, Richard L. Thu . "Evaluation of the District of Columbia Energy Office Residential Conservation Assistance Program for Natural Gas-Heated Single-Family Homes". United States. doi:10.2172/931525. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/931525.
@article{osti_931525,
title = {Evaluation of the District of Columbia Energy Office Residential Conservation Assistance Program for Natural Gas-Heated Single-Family Homes},
author = {McCold, Lance Neil and Schmoyer, Richard L},
abstractNote = {At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with assistance from the District of Columbia Energy Office (DCEO) performed an evaluation of part of the DCEO Residential Conservation Assistance Program (RCAP). The primary objective of the evaluation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the DCEO weatherization program. Because Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds are used primarily for weatherization of single-family homes and because evaluating the performance of multi-family residences would be more complex than the project budget would support, ORNL and DCEO focused the study on gas-heated single-family homes. DCEO provided treatment information and arranged for the gas utility to provide billing data for 100 treatment houses and 434 control houses. The Princeton Scorkeeping Method (PRISM) software package was used to normalize energy use for standard weather conditions. The houses of the initial treatment group of 100 houses received over 450 measures costing a little over $180,000, including labor and materials. The average cost per house was $1,811 and the median cost per house was $1,674. Window replacement was the most common measure and accounted for about 35% of total expenditures. Ceiling and floor insulation was installed in 61 houses and accounts for almost 22% of the expenditures. Twenty-seven houses received replacement doors at an average cost of $620 per house. Eight houses received furnace or boiler replacements at an average cost of about $3,000 per house. The control-adjusted average measured savings are about 20 therms/year. The 95% confidence interval is approximately +20 to +60 therms/year. The average pre-weatherization energy consumption of the houses was about 1,100 therm/year. Consequently, the adjusted average savings is approximately 2% ({+-}4%)-not significantly different than zero. Most RCAP expenditures appear to go to repairs. While some repairs may have energy benefits, measures selected to meet repair needs generally have smaller energy benefits per unit cost than measures selected for energy conservation purposes. To the extent that extensive repairs are necessary or desirable, expectations of energy savings need to be adjusted. Since 2002, the DCEO has implemented a number of program improvements it believes enhance program performance. In 2003, DCEO published formal guidance for weatherization in RCAP (DCEO 2003). Consequently, the results of this study may not adequately represent the current performance of the program. DCEO should re-examine current RCAP weatherization patterns and energy savings to assess the effects of program changes.},
doi = {10.2172/931525},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Data available from a recent evaluation of a home energy audit program in Minnesota are sufficient to allow analysis of the actual energy savings achieved in audited homes and of the relationship between actual and predicted savings. The program, operated by Northern States Power in much of the southern half of the state, is part of Minnesota's version of the federal Residential Conservation Service. NSP conducted almost 12 thousand RCS audits between April 1981 (when the progam began) and the end of 1982. The data analyzed here, available for 346 homes that obtained an NSP energy audit, include monthly naturalmore » gas bills from October 1980 through April 1983; heating degree day data matched to the gas bills; energy audit reports; and information on household demographics, structure characteristics, and recent conservation actions from mail and telephone surveys. The actual reduction in weather-adjusted natural gas use between years 1 and 3 averaged 19 MBtu across these homes (11% of preprogram consumption); the median value of the saving was 16 MBtu/year. The variation in actual saving is quite large: gas consumption increased in almost 20% of the homes, while gas consumption decreased by more than 50 MBtu/year in more than 10% of the homes. These households reported an average expenditure of almost $1600 for the retrofit measures installed in their homes; the variation in retrofit cost, while large, was not as great as the variation in actual natural gas savings.« less
  • Twelve public and private organizations serving Portland, Maine collaborated to establish a comprehensive, one-stop residential conservation program model during the fall and winter of 1984-5. The Weatherize Portland Planning Task Force launched a demonstration program to test the model in two neighborhoods from February to May 1985. In September 1985 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded an evaluation of the planning process and the demonstration program. The Technical Development Corporation, with two subcontractors)emdash)Energy Systems Research Group and Einstein Consultants)emdash)have undertaken this evaluation. The evaluation team operated in the context of the following goals set forth by the Maine Officemore » of Energy Resources, which convened the Portland Task Force: (1) to promote the use of and improvement in the RCS audit; (2) to provide hands-on training in the installation of low cost infiltration measures; (3) to stimulate additional purchase of low cost measures by providing a free kit of conservation materials; (4) to generate loans for energy improvements; (5) to coalesce existing program providers in the offering of a more comprehensive and coordinated package of services; and (6) to gain experience in the planning and implementation of a weatherization program. The planning participants requested the evaluation before committing additional resources to an expanded Maine program; DOE was also interested in program model refinements and potential applications in other communities. This evaluation investigates the nature and extent of participation in the program, probes the demonstration program's strenghts and weaknesses, and makes recommendations for improving the model for future adaptions in Maine and elsewhere.« less
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  • A review of the District of Columbia's proposed conservation plan has been completed. The target of the District of Columbia plan, as a whole, is to reduce the District's 1980 energy consumption by 21.751 trillion Btu. This, measured against the 1980 baseline projection for the District of 239.64 trillion Btu equals a 9.07% savings. Approximately 8.539 trillion Btu (39.2%) of D.C.'s savings come from the five required program measures, which involve state building codes and thermal-efficiency standards, lighting standards for public buildings, life-cycle-cost analysis (procurement), increase in transit level of transportation systems, and right turn on red. No significant adversemore » environmental impacts were expected from implementation of the plan. (MCW)« less
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