RESEARCH ACTIVITIES – Needs Assessment Research2019-10-04T20:20:15+00:00

Needs Assessment Research

APPRISE conducts needs assessment research to define the size of the eligible program population for bill payment assistance programs, usage reduction programs, and market transformation programs. Needs assessment research can assist policy makers and program managers to allocate resources and more effectively reach and serve the eligible population. Eligible populations may be defined by income, energy burden, household characteristics, and geographic area. Publicly available data sets including the American Community Survey, the American Housing Survey, the Current Population Survey, the Decennial Census, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey, and the Residential Finance Survey are used.

Needs Assessment Activities

  • Eligible population: Estimate the number of eligible households through publicly available data sets.
  • Energy assistance needs: Estimate the energy assistance needs of eligible households and the funding required to serve all eligible households using publicly available data sets.

Needs Assessment Outputs

  • Program eligibility estimates
  • Program participation rates
  • Program funding needs estimates

APPRISE Needs Assessment Research

Below we provide a few examples of some of our recent projects that included needs assessment.   Click the tabs below to learn more about these projects, or see here for a full list of projects that included needs assessment.

The Minnesota Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP) portfolios include low-income components to assist income-eligible households with energy conservation. APPRISE conducted 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 was to facilitate more effective program operations and policymaking.

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 focuses on the home energy mission of LIHEAP by providing 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 purpose of this study was to assist DDOE’s efforts to mitigate the rising energy costs on those with the highest home energy needs, greatest energy burdens, and least amount of available resources. The study focused on households that pay utility gas and/or electric bills, and are income-eligible and program-eligible for rate discounts. The study characterized the population of households that are eligible for rate discounts, estimated the rate discount program penetration rates, and analyzed how the rate discounts complement the LIHEAP program to reduce energy burdens for participating households.

APPRISE conducted research for the Office of People’s Counsel to assess the characteristics of the low-income population in Maryland, estimate the need for energy assistance and energy efficiency programs, and provide recommendations for future program design and targeting.  The study analyzed publicly available survey data and MD program-level data to understand trends in the population and the programs that serve them.  The research increased understanding of the population and informed policy discussions on Maryland low-income energy programs.

APPRISE conducted 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 analyzed publically-available population, housing, and energy data; program data; and specialty data on health indicators, population mobility, and economic characteristics.  The research provided 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.