Library: TRC

4 results


Impact Evaluation of the Efficiency Maine Trust 2010-2011 Commercial Projects Grant Program: Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

Date Published: January 30, 2012     Document Type: Evaluation Study / Report, Report
Sectors: Commercial, Commercial & Industrial, Evaluation, Program Evaluation, Research, Evaluation, & Behavior

This report presents the results of an impact evaluation of Efficiency Maine Trust’s (EMT’s) Commercial Projects Grant Program for the 2010-2011 time period. The program provides competitive matching grants for custom electric and fossil fuel energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The program was implemented in response to the funding opportunities made available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, State Energy Program (ARRA-SEP). Funding of up to $50,000 per project was awarded through a competitive review and selection process conducted by EMT. The program disbursed $1.6 million through December 31, 2011 and is scheduled to be discontinued effective April 30, 2012.

Navigant Consulting, Inc. (Navigant) and Turner Building Science were selected by EMT to conduct an impact evaluation of the program results to date. Navigant’s scope of work focused on quantifying and verifying the energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions achieved by the program. This work explicitly did not include any process evaluation objectives. Specific research objectives included:

Measure and verify energy savings, including:

Site and source1 energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions for all projects
Fossil fuel savings, including fuel oil savings
Electric demand savings
Renewable capacity generation for renewable projects
Analyzing the attribution of impacts to the SEP/ARRA-funded grants to Commercial Projects and impacts on job creation
Analyzing the cost effectiveness of the individual projects and program overall according to the Maine TRC test and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SEP Recovery Act benefit/cost test.

Whose Perspective? The Impact of the Utility Cost Test

Date Published: December 12, 2011     Document Type: Report

As more states have adopted portfolio standards for energy efficiency, a majority have selected the Total Resource Cost Test (TRC) as the cost-effectiveness threshold utilities must meet. This trend, however, may be changing. In 2009, Utah altered course, and required all programs pass the Utility Cost Test (UCT), rather than the TRC. Similarly, in 2008 Michigan passed Public Act 295, adopting the UCT as the cost-effectiveness screening test. Each test reflects a different perspective, and, depending on that perspective, desired outcomes can differ dramatically. This study examines: the theory behind each test perspective; the rationale for adopting each test; and key outcomes, including achieved savings, overall cost-effectiveness, cost-per-kWh, and the diversity of program offerings. The paper also examines advantages lost when only one test is used in evaluating a program’s worthiness, and a glimpse of energy-efficiency’s future if more jurisdictions adopt the UCT over the TRC.

Efficiency Maine Trust Home Energy Savings Program Final Evaluation Report

Date Published: November 30, 2011     Document Type: Evaluation study type/report
Sectors: Evaluation, Program Evaluation, Research, Evaluation, & Behavior, Residential

This report presents the results of an impact evaluation of the Efficiency Maine Trust (Efficiency Maine or Trust) Home Energy Savings Program (HESP or Program), conducted by The Cadmus Group, Inc. (Cadmus). The HESP is a residential, whole-house, energy-efficiency program that targets existing homes in Maine, and is available to any residence in Maine that is heated during the winter (regardless of occupants’ income levels). The evaluation addressed the following research objectives:

Determine energy savings;
Evaluate the cost-effectiveness and job creation potential (due to funding from theAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA));
Compute carbon emissions reductions and environmental impacts; and
Assess customer satisfaction.

Addressing Non-Energy Benefits in the Cost-Effectiveness Framework

Date Published: January 1, 2011     Document Type: Report
Sectors: Research, Evaluation, & Behavior

It is widely argued that there are benefits associated with and attributable to utility demand-side programs beyond direct energy savings.  There are three classes of these non-energy benefits (NEBs) based on “beneficiary” or “perspective” (Skumatz et al. 2009). Participant NEBs accrue to the program participants (such as reduced building operating costs, increased value, comfort, health, and safety). Utility NEBs are realized as indirect costs or savings to the utility (such as bill payment improvements, infrastructure savings, etc.). Societal NEBs represent indirect program effects beyond those realized by ratepayers/utility or participants, and they accrue to society at large (such as job creation, tax receipts growth, labor productivity, housing value, neighborhood stability, and reduced emissions and other environmental benefits).  This paper considers various methods for addressing NEBs in the CPUC’s cost-effectiveness tests for demand-side resources.