EnergySavvy and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are working together to study the effectiveness of the agency’s Home Energy Score in motivating homeowners and homebuyers to invest in energy-efficiency upgrades. Two new EnergySavvy clients, New Jersey Natural Gas and EnergyFit Nevada, are participating in the Home Energy Score study and implementing their programs on the EnergySavvy Optix platform.
The study aims to answer a simple and important question: do Home Energy Score reports effectively drive increased follow-through and deeper retrofits?
Using easily understood scores to raise awareness about the energy performance of homes has the potential to transform the residential energy-efficiency market by motivating homeowners and homebuyers to invest in energy-efficiency upgrades.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score program is also engaging academic leaders in behavior research to support the evaluation efforts and maximize the impact of the Home Energy Score in driving demand for residential energy efficiency. Thirty program Partners have used Home Energy Score to score more than 8,500 homes nationwide.
The Energy Savvy study involves randomly selected control and test groups of homeowners. Homeowners in the control group receive the home energy report that auditors provide through the utilities’ existing programs; homeowners in the test group receive an additional Home Energy Score report.
All audit and project data are tracked, quantified and analyzed using EnergySavvy’s Optix platform, cloud-based software for utility demand-side management, to provide firm correlation data. This will confirm how use of the Home Energy Score relates to program follow-through and deeper retrofit activities. DOE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® programs are also engaging EnergySavvy to support the transformation of the home performance industry by using a standardized language for data transfer.
New Jersey Natural Gas: The SAVEGREEN Project®
New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) is rapidly expanding the number of projects through The SAVEGREEN Project, the utility’s suite of energy-efficiency programs, and building on the huge success of their on-bill financing program.
“EnergySavvy’s Optix platform allows us to provide an enhanced customer experience,” said Jerry Ryan, Energy Efficiency Operations Manager for New Jersey Natural Gas. “Now we can show customers how their home’s energy consumption compares to similar homes and customize their audit reports to our program’s incentives. The ability to test Home Energy Score’s effect on deeper retrofit measures will give us the insight we need to continually improve customer adoption of energy efficiency.”
EnergyFit Nevada: Next Phase of Growth
Denee Evans, the Executive Director of EnergyFit Nevada, stressed the importance of intelligent efficiency as EnergyFit transitions from an ARRA-funded organization to an ongoing sustainable, statewide program.
“As we embark on our next phase of growth, EnergySavvy will allow us to do more retrofit work with less administrative overhead, reduce the time and effort required by contractors to work with the program and engage Nevada homeowners more intelligently,” Evans said. “As a DOE Home Energy Score study participant, we’ll be learning and incorporating the latest best practices in customer engagement.”
Study Invites One More Program
The grant supporting the Home Energy Score study has capacity for one additional utility or state program study participant. To gain consideration for the study, program executives are invited to meet both DOE and EnergySavvy this week, January 27-30, 2014, at the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) National Conference in San Diego. Representatives will be available at booth number 10 in the conference exhibit hall.
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