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Title: Small Town Energy Program (STEP) Final Report revised

University Park, Maryland (“UP”) is a small town of 2,540 residents, 919 homes, 2 churches, 1 school, 1 town hall, and 1 breakthrough community energy efficiency initiative: the Small Town Energy Program (“STEP”). STEP was developed with a mission to “create a model community energy transformation program that serves as a roadmap for other small towns across the U.S.” STEP first launched in January 2011 in UP and expanded in July 2012 to the neighboring communities of Hyattsville, Riverdale Park, and College Heights Estates, MD. STEP, which concluded in July 2013, was generously supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The STEP model was designed for replication in other resource-constrained small towns similar to University Park - a sector largely neglected to date in federal and state energy efficiency programs. STEP provided a full suite of activities for replication, including: energy audits and retrofits for residential buildings, financial incentives, a community-based social marketing backbone and local community delivery partners. STEP also included the highly innovative use of an “Energy Coach” who worked one-on-one with clients throughout the program. Please see for more information. In less than three years, STEP achieved the following results in Universitymore » Park: • 30% of community households participated voluntarily in STEP; • 25% of homes received a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR assessment; • 16% of households made energy efficiency improvements to their home; • 64% of households proceeded with an upgrade after their assessment; • 9 Full Time Equivalent jobs were created or retained, and 39 contractors worked on STEP over the course of the project. Estimated Energy Savings - Program Totals kWh Electricity 204,407 Therms Natural Gas 24,800 Gallons of Oil 2,581 Total Estimated MMBTU Saved (Source Energy) 5,474 Total Estimated Annual Energy Cost Savings $61,343 STEP clients who had a home energy upgrade invested on average $4,500, resulting in a 13% reduction in annual energy use and utility bill savings of $325. Rebates and incentives covered 40%-50% of retrofit cost, resulting in an average simple payback of about 7 years. STEP has created a handbook in which are assembled all the key elements that went into the design and delivery of STEP. The target audiences for the handbook include interested citizens, elected officials and municipal staff who want to establish and run their own efficiency program within a small community or neighborhood, using elements, materials and lessons from STEP.« less
  1. (Chuck) T.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Town of University Park Maryland
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Contributing Orgs:
Town of University Park, Maryland
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; Better Buildings Neighborhood Program, Small Town Energy Program, Energy Coach, Efficiency