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The Building Operator Certification (BOC) program congratulates the following BOC and Smart Buildings Center (SBC) sponsoring utilities recently recognized in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Fourth National Review of Exemplary Energy Efficiency Programs.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), California
Southern California Edison (SCE), California
Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey
National Grid/Eversource, Massachusetts
Efficiency Maine Trust, Maine
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York
Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Washington State
Energy Trust of Oregon, Oregon

From the review:
The ACEEE has reviewed utility-funded energy efficiency programs nationwide every five years since 2003 to identify trends and present effective approaches. Throughout this period, the energy efficiency industry has been evolving, adapting program designs and strategies in response to policy changes and technology advances.

Utility-sector energy efficiency programs are more important than ever. Energy efficiency continues to be one of the cleanest and lowest-cost utility system resources. This fourth ACEEE national review of exemplary energy efficiency programs has two objectives: (1) to identify and promulgate successful approaches that might help others improve their program designs and (2) to provide recognition to utilities and other administrators that are funding and delivering excellent programs.

BOC and SBC sponsoring utilities’ recognized programs are summarized below, courtesy of information provided in the ACEEE review.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California
LED Accelerator Program (LEDA)
The LED Accelerator (LEDA) program serves the retail, warehouse, restaurant, bank, and medical customer sectors. LEDA provides tiered incentives for retail, downstream, and pay for-performance for best-in-class LEDs and networked lighting controls (NLCs). To be eligible, a business must be a PG&E electricity customer and save a minimum of 20 kW. The program covers both new construction projects and custom retrofits where 50% of the load is interior. PG&E administers LEDA, and Energy Solutions implements it.

California Youth Energy Services Program
Rising Sun’s California Youth Energy Services (CYES) program provides a community based approach to the dual issues of youth unemployment and climate change and delivers measurable energy and water savings to thousands of households annually. Each year the program trains, mentors, and employs nearly 200 local young adults (ages 15–22) as energy specialists who provide free energy efficiency and water conservation services to residents of their communities.

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), California
Master Inter-Utility Agreement
LADWP and SoCalGas have formed a partnership through a Master Inter-Utility Agreement (MIUA) to deliver efficiency programs to their 4 million common customers, the residents and businesses of the city of Los Angeles. This efficiency partnership features two levels: the master umbrella agreement and the multiple program orders (individual programs) that impact their customers.

Program types include:

  • Energy savings incentives paid directly to customers
  • Direct-installation programs provided at no cost to customers
  • Technical services and outreach programs that help guide customers to utility incentives
  • Research and demonstration programs supporting new technologies and increasing efficiency standards

One-Stop Shop for Water and Energy Efficiency
Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) collaborated with SoCalGas and Southern California Edison (SCE) to offer a water–energy nexus direct-install program to mutual residential customers in the IRWD service area. The program leveraged existing rebate incentives provided by each agency.

Southern California Edison (SCE), California
One-Stop Shop for Water and Energy Efficiency
Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) collaborated with SoCalGas and Southern California Edison (SCE) to offer a water–energy nexus direct-install program to mutual residential customers in the IRWD service area. The program leveraged existing rebate incentives provided by each agency.

Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey
Residential Multifamily Housing Program
The PSE&G Residential Multifamily Housing Program targets multifamily housing with five or more units in PSE&G’s electric and/or gas service territory. The majority of the work to date has been with senior citizen and affordable housing. The program addresses market barriers to multifamily energy efficiency by providing upfront funding along with incentives and on-bill financing.

Hospital Efficiency Program
The PSE&G Hospital Efficiency Program serves hospitals and healthcare facilities operating 24/7 in PSE&G’s electric and/or gas service territory by providing cost incentives, upfront payments, and on-bill financing for energy efficiency measures including HVAC, water heating, building envelope, motors, lighting, and other energy-consuming equipment that use both electricity and natural gas.

National Grid/EverSource
Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN)
LEAN provides comprehensive weatherization, appliance efficiency, and heating system measures and services to eligible low-income households in Massachusetts regardless of the fuel used (electricity, gas, oil, propane) and at no cost to the customer served. The program installs LED lightbulbs, replaces inefficient appliances, weatherizes the building envelope, performs minor related repairs, and tunes-up, repairs, or replaces inefficient or inoperative heating systems.

Natural Gas Water Heater Initiative
The C&I Water Heater Initiative is an upstream rebate program that offers cash incentives to distributors for the sale of high-efficiency water heater equipment to customers who receive natural gas service on a commercial or industrial rate in Massachusetts. There are four types of water heaters eligible for incentives: domestic hot-water boilers, condensing storage water heaters, tankless on-demand water heaters, and indirect water heaters. Distributors use available incentives to (1) maintain stock of high-efficiency water heaters so these units are readily available to customers; (2) educate the market on the benefits of high efficiency; and (3) provide price discounts on high-efficiency equipment to customers.

Efficiency Maine Trust, Maine
Ductless Heat Pump Initiative
Efficiency Maine’s Ductless Heat Pump (DHP) Initiative promotes market-based investment in high-efficiency DHPs through fixed price rebates and loans, a vendor network, quality assurance, and customer education. Open to homeowners of all income levels, the initiative offers low-income households enhanced rebates and low interest micro loans for retrofit measures. Qualifying DHPs must have a minimum efficiency (HSPF) of 12.0 for systems with a single indoor unit, or 10.0 for systems with multiple indoor units.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York
EmPower New York
EmPower New York is a comprehensive energy efficiency program that provides no-cost electric reduction and home performance measures to low-income households across New York State. It is a primary element of achieving the Public Service Commission’s energy affordability policy, whose goal is a 6% energy burden for low-income customers. The program is open to homeowners and renters of one- to four-family homes and tenants of multifamily buildings. It has been the default ratepayer funded low-income energy efficiency program in New York since 2004. Services include a home energy assessment, in-home energy education, air sealing, insulation, health and safety assessment, heating system clean and tune, replacement of inefficient appliances, efficient lighting, and low-flow devices. The average project cost is approximately $4,000, with a cap of $7,500 per project.

Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Washington State
Commercial Strategic Energy Management (CSEM)
Through the Commercial Strategic Energy Management (CSEM) program, PSE works with customers to identify and address savings opportunities through whole-building energy analysis using utility bills and interval data, as well as careful documentation of conservation efforts. The program provides financial incentives to encourage these actions.

Multifamily Retrofit and New Construction for Market Rate and Low Income
The Multifamily Retrofit program offers a full suite of prescriptive and custom calculated incentives for both electric and gas customers. Puget Sound Energy (PSE) conducts a free walk-through site assessment to identify savings opportunities. Depending on the energy assessment results, the program will install no-cost measures (e.g. showerheads and LEDs) as well as provide incentives for more capital-intensive upgrades (e.g., windows, insulation, and air sealing). Participants are also eligible for incentive packages through new construction and low-income programs. These programs take a whole-building approach and achieve beyond-code energy savings.

Energy Trust of Oregon, Oregon
EPS New Construction, Oregon & SW Washington
Energy Trust of Oregon’s EPS New Construction is a performance-based new-home construction program that provides scaled incentives to builders and third-party raters for installing energy improvements above the Oregon and Washington energy codes. The program’s incentives scale up with energy improvements over the Oregon and Washington Code as measured by EPSTM, an energy performance scoring system. The minimum requirement for entry into the program is 10% improvement over code, scaling to 40%. Sliding scale incentives range from $623–4,723 depending on the percentage improvement above code. Builders are eligible for participation based on required insurance and valid CCB licensing.

New Buildings: Path to Net Zero
The New Buildings Path to Net Zero (PTNZ) program offers early design consulting and project incentives to achieve ultra-low-energy commercial buildings, both new construction and retrofits. Project personnel meet with Energy Trust outreach managers to establish an energy savings target, efficiency strategies for reaching it, and an incentives package. The program provides whole-building energy modeling and ongoing technical assistance as it helps designers integrate energy efficiency and onsite solar design, construction, and installation. PTNZ offers incentives for standard and custom measures for many building types statewide. The program’s key eligibility criterion is an energy use intensity (EUI) metric that aims at energy savings 70% greater than typical building goals.

To access the full review, visit the ACEEE website.

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