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.


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.

  • 2016 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC) Conference – Baltimore, MD, October 20-22, 2016
  • 2017 Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) National Conference – Orlando, FL, February 13-16, 2017
  • 2017 HPC National Home Performance Conference – Nashville, TN, March 19-22, 2017
  • 2017 American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) – New Orleans, LA, May 18-21, 2017
  • 2017 National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC) – Fort Lauderdale, FL, June 26-28, 2017
  • 2017 International Energy Program Evaluation Conference (IEPEC) – Baltimore, MD, August 8-10, 2017


Low-Income Usage Reduction
Low-Income Bill Payment Assistance
Market Transformation


Process Evaluation
Impact Evaluation
Data Tracking
Survey Research
Needs Assessment
Economic and Policy Analysis
Performance Measurement
Technical Assistance


Ameren introduced a pilot of a low-income payment assistance program that provides electric bill payment assistance to low-income customers. Participants receive monthly bill credits toward their electric bill and additional credits toward their arrearages. APPRISE provided an evaluation of this program in 2012 that included interviews with local agencies that conduct intake for the program, a survey of participating customers, analysis of program data, and analysis of program impacts on affordability, payment coverage, and terminations. Ameren made program modifications in response to findings from the initial evaluation. APPRISE conducted a follow-up Process and Impact Evaluation of the program in 2014 that documented the impacts of the program changes. APPRISE is currently conducting a third evaluation of this program that includes interviews with defaulted customers, analysis of program data, and analysis of the impacts of the program on affordability and bill payment. Findings from this research will be used to further refine the program.
FirstEnergy implemented Universal Service Programs to help low-income customers maintain electric service and protect customers’ health and safety. The programs include the CAP Program, which provides reduced payments and arrearage forgiveness; LIURP/WARM, which provides energy efficiency and energy education services; CARES, which provides outreach and referral services; the Hardship Fund, which provides emergency assistance; and Gatekeeper, where field personnel recognize and report customers who may be in distress. APPRISE is conducting an evaluation of the performance of these programs, their ability to help low-income customers maintain affordable service, and the integration among the different programs. This evaluation will include analysis of program databases, interviews with FirstEnergy managers and staff, interviews with staff at organizations that implement the programs; and analysis of the impact of CAP on bills, customer payments, and affordability.
First State CAA is implementing a heating replacement and energy conservation program for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. The Repair Replace Heaters and Conserving Energy (RRHACE) program is designed to assess the needs of low-income households and to deliver a customized set of services, including heating equipment assessment and services, Healthy Homes assessment and services, and energy education. APPRISE is advising First State on the Data Tracking System and conducting Process and Impact Evaluations. The Process Evaluation will assess challenges and opportunities, and will develop performance measures to be assessed in the Impact Evaluation.
APPRISE provides program support to the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is a federally funded program to help eligible low-income households meet their home heating and cooling needs.  The LIHEAP Home Energy Notebook provides LIHEAP grantees with the latest national and regional data on home energy consumption, expenditures, and burden; low-income home energy trends; and the LIHEAP program performance measurement system.  The LIHEAP Report to Congress summarizes data collected on home energy use and households assisted under LIHEAP.  APPRISE furnishes technical support to the Division of Energy Assistance including assistance in the development of performance measurement procedures.  APPRISE is also working with The Division of Energy Assistance to develop a web-based data tool that facilitates the collection of high-quality performance measurement data for the LIHEAP program.
The Minnesota Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP) portfolios include low-income components to assist income-eligible households with energy conservation. APPRISE is conducting research through the Conservation Applied Research & Development (CARD) Grant Program to provide a comprehensive review of the low-income efficiency programs, evaluate the program processes, and assess program policies and guidelines. The goal of the research is to facilitate more effective program operations and policymaking.
APPRISE conducted national evaluations of the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) for program years 2008 and 2010.   In this study of New York’s WAP for the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), APPRISE is using data collected from New York State to furnish detailed information on the performance of the New York WAP program.  This analysis will provide statewide statistics, results for selected subgroups, and program savings and cost-effectiveness statistics.
APPRISE is conducting research to characterize the low and moderate income populations in New York State, to estimate the impact of existing programs that target these populations, and to identify opportunities for future program outreach and targeting.  This study will analyze publically-available population, housing, and energy data; program data; and specialty data on health indicators, population mobility, and economic characteristics.  The research will provide the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) and program partners throughout the New York State government with comprehensive information that can be used to improve program models, estimate program potential, and measure program accomplishments.
APPRISE is responsible for designing and implementing several surveys to help NYSERDA assess programs and characterize the market for their programs.  The Energy Codes Program Survey with building code, design, and construction officials will help NYSERDA evaluate the impact of their energy code training and identify future training opportunities.  The R&D Demonstration in-depth interviews with R&D grant recipients are designed to identify and estimate environmental benefits, cost-effectiveness, and other program impacts.  The Innovation Capacity and Business Development Survey will develop information on market barriers and drivers, experience with NYSERDA support, and market stakeholders.  The Transportation Program Market Characterization Analysis Survey will collect information on the types of technologies in development, major actors in the transportation market, and experiences with NYSERDA.