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Green with Envy: Neighbor Comparisons and Social Norms in Five Home Energy Report Programs

Date Published: August 13, 2012     Document Type: Conference publication
Sectors: Research, Evaluation, & Behavior, Residential

This is a paper for the 2012 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.  The paper covers the topic of home energy reports run by vendors such as OPOWER. 

Evaluating a Poster Child: Contributions of the Consortium for Energy Efficiency to the Residential Clothes Washer Initiative (Abstract Only)

Date Published: January 1, 2001     Document Type: Conference publication

The penetration of resource-efficient clothes washers (RECWs) and the agreement on future washer efficiency standards are signal achievements, making the intervention that stimulated those changes a poster child for market transformation. To provide planners and evaluators with a deeper understanding of the nature of that child-the initiative that helped change the washer market-this paper reviews the rationales for the Residential Clothes Washer Initiative (RCWI) and the contributions of its developer and coordinator, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). It also describes the difficulties of the evaluation effort itself, including some of the complexities of Client-Centered Studies such as this. (Abstract only)

Lighting for Tomorrow: Building on the Results of the First National Energy-efficient Lighting Fixture Design Competition in the United States

Date Published: May 1, 2005     Document Type: Report

This paper describes the Lighting for Tomorrow fixture design competition in detail, including its origins, sponsors, structure and rules, timeline, prizes, selection criteria, and judges. It also describes the results of the competition, including industry response, promotion and publicity efforts, technical and design innovations demonstrated by the winners, and retail placements to date. The paper offers several lessons for future efforts to promote high-efficiency lighting through the design competition approach.

Why Don't People Save More Energy? Lessons in Motivation from the 1999 Residential Characterization Study of Wisconsin Households (Abstract Only)

Date Published: January 1, 2001     Document Type: Conference publication

Household members' attitudes and beliefs about energy use can be the source of unexpected behavior that ultimately affects energy consumption in residential housing. This paper analyzes data on the energy-related attitudes and beliefs from a study of 299 Wisconsin households living in owner- occupied single-family dwellings in 1998 and 1999. (Abstract only)

Counting the Stars in America's Eyes: The ENERGY STAR ® Household Survey (Abstract Only)

Date Published: January 1, 2001     Document Type: Conference publication

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) sponsored a national household survey to obtain information on consumer awareness and understanding of the ENERGY STAR label and its influence on energy-related purchase decisions. The sample was designed to support comparison between areas with high and low levels of local program activity. Findings from this study indicate that the EPA and DOE strategy of partnering witih third-party organizatiosn to build momentum for ENERGY STAR is an effective strategy for building awareness, understanding, and influence of the ENERGY STAR label. (Abstract only)

The Residential Clothes Washer Initiative: A Case Study of the Contributions of a Collaborative Effort to Transform a Market

Date Published: June 1, 2001     Document Type: Evaluation Study / Report, Report

This report reviews the effects of CEE's Residential Clothes Washer Initiative (RCWI) and identifies CEE's contributions to increasing the availability and penetration of resource-efficient clothes washers in the North American market. The study is based largely on in-depth interviews with decision-makers and observers from a broad range of relevant organizations and agencies, including participants in the Initiative, manufacturers, and national retailers. Findings include that the RCWI and its antecedents helped accelerate the development of a sustainable market for resource-efficient clothes washers. The RCWI strongly encouraged manufacturers to increase their production of resource-efficient models and to broaden their promotional efforts because of the support promised and then demonstrated. The initial sales successes of Initiative participants also appear to have stimulated competition among clothes washer manufacturers and to have ensured that all major players would enter the RECW market. Other important contributions to the success of the relationship between the RCWI and manufacturers were the development and promulgation of common specifications by CEE and the use of performance criteria rather than design criteria. The RCWI was not alone in its influence. The process for establishing minimum federal efficiency standards for appliances and the effects of the ENERGY STAR® program are also worthy of further analysis. Indeed, it may be necessary for a successful initiative like the RCWI that the product or service be the subject of codes or standards. In addition, the ENERGY STAR program appears to have provided useful synergism that might be further expanded. In establishing the RCWI itself, CEE has created a useful and potentially replicable national initiative model--a voluntary agreement by utilities and regional programs to work together to promote the manufacture, distribution, and sale of products.

Transforming Private Multifamily Properties to Efficient Appliances and Lighting via Centralized and Negotiated Procurements

Date Published: January 1, 2000     Document Type: Market Research Report, Report

The objective of this research is to permanently change the lighting and appliance purchasing behavior of private multifamily (PMF) owners/operators, as well as their tenants, without the use of direct financial incentives, and to eventually expand the program to include other underserved residential buyers groups such as senior communities. Energy efficiency in the PMF sector will be implemented through centralized or negotiated procurement of ENERGY STAR products. The approach, which relies on reaching the PMF segment through local/regional apartment associations, is being implemented through Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Market Transformation (Montana) Programs. Surveys were administered to over 500 owners/ operators and the data were supplemented with audit data to determine that the 5 best near-term Market Transformation (Montana) targets were subcompact screwin CFLs (sub-CFLs) for exterior and common areas, refrigerators, dishwashers, wall/window air conditioners (AC), and coin-operated, family-size clothes washers. Given the success to date, the report suggests that other utilities consider adopting, or testing out, SCE’s program design.

Final Report To Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) Regarding:State and Local Government Purchasing Initiative – Program Evaluation Scoping Study

Date Published: March 13, 2001     Document Type: Report, Scoping study

The goal of this Scoping Study is to define appropriate methodologies for evaluating the impact of CEE's State and Local Government Purchasing Initiative. The initiative aims to incorporate energy efficiency as a standard consideration in state and local government purchasing practices. Key objectives of the Scoping Study, as defined by CEE, are: develop a method for identifying key measurement indicators pertaining to the purchase of energy efficient products; identify a procedure(s) for establishing a baseline of existing energy efficient purchases; and identify methodologies for assessing program impact from the perspective of three groups of stakeholders: state and local governments, federal program sponsors and experts on public purchasing of energy efficient products, and program administrators (e.g., utilities, regional organizations and others). For the development of methodologies, two rounds of interviews were conducted with the three stakeholder groups. This report summarizes the findings of the two interim reports describing the interviews. The report found that the two major market barriers were the purchaser’s lack of understanding of environmental benefits of energy efficiency purchasing, and the purchaser’s lack of time to research new products, develop baselines, and develop specifications. This report also contains a discussion of approaches to facilitate obtaining consensus from key stakeholders to use these tracking methodologies and to encourage participation with CEE in developing formal programs and projects designed to increase the percentage of energy efficient products being purchased by state and local governments.

CEE ENERGY STAR® Household Survey Report

Date Published: February 9, 2001     Document Type: Evaluation Study / Report, Report

Report of the results of the first national household mail survey meant to ascertain consumer awareness and understanding of the ENERGY STAR label as well as its influence on energy-related purchasing decisions. The report compares awareness of the label in areas with strong local ENERGY STAR-related promotions against those with little or no local promotions. Key findings include that nationwide, 41 percent of households have seen the ENERGY STAR label; (2) over one-half of all households, including those that had seen the label previously and those that were reacting to it for the first time, had at least a general understanding of the label’s message, and 37 percent registered a high degree of understanding; (3) about 50 percent of those who reported that they bought an ENERGY STAR-labeled product also reported that they were influenced by the label to buy that product. Although the overall response rate for the survey was low (10.2 percent), comparative analyses to U.S. census data and other related studies indicate that the survey data in the present study represent a reasonable characterization of the current state of ENERGY STAR awareness, understanding, and influence. (Part 2 of this report is a substantial set of cross-tabulations that is available by request from CEE.)

A Market Assessment for Condensing Boilers in Commercial Heating Applications

Date Published: January 1, 2001     Document Type: Market Research Report, Report

The goal of this study was to assess the potential for pursuing a formal market transformation initiative for condensing boilers. Two boiler retrofits were studied to better understand first costs, benefits, and life cycle costs of condensing boilers for specific applications. Findings included: 1. The market for condensing boilers represent only about 2% of the total commercial-scale boiler market. The market share is small because the price premium for a condensing boiler is up to 3 times that of a conventional boiler. There is lots of room for improvement in sales of condensing boilers. 2. Without a market transformation initiative, the market share is likely to remain static. With a supported initiative, the market share could potentially rise to 28% in 2020, saving 1.37 trillion more Btus/year by 2020. 3. Technical requirements limit the suitability of condensing boilers in many commercial applications. 4. Competitive alternatives severely limit the applicability of condensing boilers in all market segments. 5. Most commercial building owners, who do not pay their tenants’ energy bills, will often make boiler purchase decisions based solely on the magnitude of the total installed cost and will therefore not purchase the higher-cost condensing boiler. 6. The absence of an infrastructure or organization to promote this technology and provide training, marketing and design tools is significant barrier. 7. Condensing boilers appear attractive in the school and Federal buildings segments because the decision makers in these two sectors rely more on the magnitude of the life cycle costs of the boilers than on first costs to make their purchase decisions. 8. the sales of commercial scale boilers are highly concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest and it is recommended that any program that is offered be started in one or both of these regions.

Residential Lighting Fixture Market Assessment: Ceiling Fans & Outdoor Lighting. Final Report.

Date Published: October 1, 2000     Document Type: Market Research Report, Report

This report assesses the national residential lighting fixture market in order to identify promising market segments for the creation of market transformation opportunities. The primary focus of research is on compact fluorescent lighting. The data were compiled from interviews with industry experts, a review of existing lighting market research, and data gathered at a lighting trade show. Findings include that for indoor lighting, aesthetics is the most important consumer decision factor; for outdoor lighting, safety, security, and durability are most important. Efficient lighting products have a better chance of competing with non-efficient products based on function than on design. For this reason, the report looks most closely at two function-based markets, those for ceiling fans and for outdoor lighting.