ENERGY PROGRAM AND POLICY RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
WHO WE ARE
APPRISE is a nonprofit research institute dedicated to collecting and analyzing data and information to assess and improve public programs. Our current research includes work for federal and state governments, agencies, utility companies, and nonprofit organizations.
APPRISE conducts a wide variety of research activities to provide program administrators and stakeholders with a comprehensive understanding of program design, operations, and impact. This research leads to informed recommendations for program improvement.
WHAT WE DO
APPRISE research focuses on programs that provide bill payment assistance, energy education, and energy efficiency services to low-income households; and programs that provide incentives for undertaking energy efficiency projects to residential, commercial, and industrial utility customers. The goals of bill payment assistance programs are to improve energy affordability and reduce the problems that are associated with high energy bills. The goals of usage reduction programs are to increase knowledge of energy-saving behaviors, improve energy practices, improve the energy efficiency of the home, reduce energy usage, and improve customer health and safety. The goals of other residential, commercial, and industrial energy programs are to reduce energy usage and transform the market for energy efficient products.
APPRISE staff members will be attending these conferences:
- 2019 National Energy & Utility Affordability (NEUAC) Conference – Forth Worth, TX, June 3-5, 2019
- 2019 International Energy Program Evaluation Conference – Denver, CO, August 19-22, 2019
- 2020 Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP) Annual Conference – Anaheim, CA, February 17-20, 2020
- 2020 Home Performance Conference – New Orleans, LA, April 27-30, 2020
CURRENT RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
Ameren’s Keeping Current Program provides electric bill payment assistance and arrearage forgiveness to low-income customers. APPRISE is currently undertaking its fourth evaluation of the program. This evaluation will include in-depth interviews with current participants and with previous successful program participants. The evaluation will also include analysis of program benefits delivered, and the impact of the program on affordability, bill payment, and collections actions.
APPRISE is conducting a process evaluation to understand the contributions that Avangrid’s marketing programs make to encourage residential and non-residential customers to participate in Avangrid’s energy efficiency program offerings. The research will include in-depth interviews and surveys with program participants to assess the success of various marketing approaches.
The California Residential Appliance Saturation Study (RASS), conducted by the California Energy Commission, is used to collect information on California’s residential energy consumption. As with the two previous RASS studies in 2003 and 2009, the findings from this research will be used to support the Energy Commission’s residential energy demand forecast. This study will be implemented as both a web and mail survey, known as the California Home Energy Survey, and will ask residents about their appliances, equipment, and general energy consumption. APPRISE is working with DNV GL Energy Insights USA, Inc. to develop email and mailing materials that encourage resident participation in the survey. In addition, APPRISE is overseeing a non-response follow-up effort that will use incentives, mailings, phone calls, and personal visits to obtain additional responses from households that do not respond to the initial survey requests.
Consolidated Edison’s Commercial & Industrial program provides incentives to organizations that install qualifying energy-using equipment or who complete energy efficiency projects in their facility. The managers of the C&I programs are interested in learning more about the key market actors in the supply chain for C&I Ventilation and Air Conditioning Equipment to assist them in their program planning efforts. In this project, APPRISE is working as part of a team that is developing a comprehensive inventory of the most important manufacturers, distributors, mechanical engineers, and VAC contractors in the Con Ed service territory. In addition, APPRISE is collecting information from each market actor group through in-depth interviews to furnish Con Ed program managers with insights on how to engage each type of market actor in their programs.
APPRISE is developing a database for the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel to generate customized statistics on characteristics of the low-income population in Maryland. The database will allow users to analyze income, demographic, energy, and housing characteristics of the low-income population at the state, region, and county levels using data from the American Community Survey. The database will be used to evaluate energy programs and analyze rate cases that impact low-income customers.
PECO’s Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP) provides energy efficiency services and energy education to PECO’s low-income customers to reduce their energy usage and increase the affordability of their energy bills. The evaluations estimated the impact of LIURP on participants’ energy usage, energy bills, and payment compliance and surveyed customers to analyze the impact of energy education and program satisfaction. In the 2016 program evaluation, APPRISE also conducted observations of audits on a sample of jobs. This research provided information on potential changes to program services and implementation that may lead to increased program savings. The evaluation of 2017 participants is assessing the program process, examining the impacts of program treatments on energy usage and affordability, and surveying customers to assess program satisfaction.
PECO implemented Universal Service Programs to help low-income customers maintain energy services and protect customers’ health and safety. The programs include CAP which provides reduced payments and arrearage forgiveness, LIURP which provides energy efficiency and energy education services, CARES which provides outreach and referral services, and MEAP which provides emergency financial assistance for overdue energy bills. The 2019 evaluation will include review of program procedures and implementation; customer needs assessment; interviews with program managers and implementation partners; customer surveys; and an analysis of the impact of the program on energy affordability, bill payment, collections, and energy usage.
Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) has a portfolio of energy efficiency programs to increase customers’ awareness of energy efficiency opportunities and to reduce energy usage. These programs include offerings for residential customers, low-income customers, and commercial and industrial customers. APPRISE is conducting impact evaluations and market assessments for these programs. The 2018 evaluations are expected to include the Commercial Equipment Rebates Program and the Efficient Construction Grants Program.