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
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.
PGW’s Customer Responsibility Program provides low-income PGW customers with a reduced bill to increase energy affordability. Their other Universal Service Programs provide energy efficiency services, case management services, and emergency bill payment assistance. The 2019 evaluation will assess the characteristics of program participants, payment compliance by program participants, and arrearage forgiveness received by program participants. The research will estimate the impact of the program on affordability, payments, and collections actions and costs. Evaluation activities will include interviews with program managers and staff, needs assessment, in-depth interviews with participating customers, and analysis of customer billing, payment, and collections data.