Utilities have successfully used a number of strategies to help residential customers improve the efficiency of their homes, reduce their energy use and save money. A 2009 survey of American Public Power Association (APPA) members found that among utilities actively promoting energy efficiency, 95% sponsor consumer education campaigns, nearly 80% offer some type of home audit program and nearly 80% offer incentives for efficient products and technologies to their residential customers.
Tried and True Programs
ENERGY STAR appliances and lighting have been the flagship products in most utility program portfolios. These are closely followed by initiatives focused on efficient air conditioning, particularly in regions with hot and humid summers.
While utilities offer rebates for many other measures, increasingly we are seeing sponsorship of programs that encourage building envelope (walls, attic, basement, doors and windows) improvements, and whole home performance. Another product category garnering greater attention is consumer electronics, which is by far the fastest growing end-use.
CEEP's resource library captures best practice recommendations for commonly offered measures from a broad range of sources. By rating these resources and commenting on their applicability to your utility or sharing your own experience with a similar program, you can help us to further define what works for public power.
New Ways to do Energy Efficiency
As programs mature, utilities must seek out new opportunities for energy savings. Several innovative program strategies are profiled here as well, but we urge you to contribute to CEEP's resource library and discussions, so that the new ideas your utility is pursing can be peer-reviewed, improved and eventually become best practices!