This report reviews a representative selection of completed and ongoing energy reduction competitions and uses the lessons learned to provide best practice guidance on the design, implementation, and evaluation of future programs. We address four key research questions: How effective have been competitions at changing behavior and reducing energy? How long do energy savings persist after the end of the competition? Under what circumstances are competitions more or less effective? What are common best practices for the design, implementation and evaluation of energy and resource conservation competitions? The primary target audiences for this report are electric and natural gas utilities seeking to broaden their portfolio of behavior-based interventions, as well as potential designers, implementers and evaluators of energy reduction competitions.
This white paper explores the ways in which residential consumers are addressed by California utility-managed energy efficiency programs, and offers suggestions for improvements that might better support the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. The report reviews the assumptions that underlie the state’s residential energy efficiency policies and programs. A key set of assumptions can be found in a physical-technical-economic model (PTEM) that has oriented energy efficiency program design for several decades. The authors examine a suite of programs currently in operation and identify four somewhat different approaches being taken to influenceconsumer behavior and choice. They are variants of the PTEM, but also diverge by adding somewhat more realistic elements.
This paper is one of a series of white papers commissioned by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to address topics in energy use and behavior. It considers the behavioral assumptions in energy efficiency potential studies, and options for modifying and supplementing these assumptions, using recent California energy efficiency potential studies as the main example.
This white paper examines why a larger array of innovative institutions, behaviors, technologies, and servicesis needed – specifically in the context of what we call “the climate imperative.” We explore possible mechanisms that can encourage the more robust development of innovative programs and policies within the State of California, with special attention to the activities of the California Public Utilities Commission.
This white paper examines four topics addressing evaluation, measurement, and attribution of direct and indirect effects to energy efficiency and behavioral programs: Estimates of program savings (gross); Net savings derivation through free ridership / net to gross analyses; Indirect non-energy benefits / impacts (e.g., comfort, convenience, emissions, jobs); and, Persistence of savings.
This white paper has the explicit intention to draw lessons learned from the past 30 years of energy efficiency program evaluation in order to facilitate improved program design and implementation going forward. The discussion in this white paper is developed based on interviews with 43 individuals who are either practitioners or users of process and market evaluation. In addition, we obtained references to published materials from our contacts and reviewed conference proceedings dating from 1992 to 2008, which resulted in a review of nearly 100 articles or reports documenting the results of, or commenting on, process and market evaluations.
This white paper examines how policymakers, program administrators, and program implementers can be motivated to pursue behavioral change in a regulatory environment. For the purposes of this report, behavior change is defined rather broadly, encompassing both behaviors associated with the purchase and installation of energy efficiency technologies as well as behaviors, decisions, and actions that might be thought of as more independent of technology. These include energy use habits, lifestyle choices, and consumption patterns. The insights and lessons discussed in this paper are drawn from a wide variety of sources including interviews with representatives from the energy and utility communities, and program documentation for energy-related programs and projects.
This paper argues that the establishment of a process designed to manage innovation must be developed in California to foster the creation of needed program improvements and develop new and more effective energy efficiency delivery programs. This paper discusses several key institutional problems that must be overcome to achieve significant progress.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the existing state of market segmentation among California’s electric utilities, with an emphasis on the investor-owned utilities (IOUs). In addition, how segmentation is applied in various other economic sectors is reviewed, in part to provide a framework to identify potential practices that could be effectively adopted in the utility industry.
This is a report on why commercial office buildings aren’t more energy efficient. Several decades of energy efficiency programs have resulted in some gains, but overall increases in the energy efficiency of buildings have fallen far short of the 30 to 50 percent improvement that many efficiency advocates believe is possible. The purpose of this study is to consider the “why” question by empirically examining the dynamics of new commercial building markets. To do so, the authors used multiple research techniques, including qualitative field observation and interview methods that allow for a more in-depth understanding of complicated market processes. Their research focused primarily on new office buildings and centered in four regional markets: Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. The authors identify key dynamics of commercial office building markets, describe how change and innovation occurs in commercial development, discuss the implications for energy efficiency, and suggest next steps.