RESEARCH ACTIVITIES – Technical Assistance2018-07-26T20:52:09+00:00

Technical Assistance

APPRISE provides technical assistance to program managers and policymakers to help them make informed policy decisions when designing and refining public programs. Our extensive experience with energy programs is invaluable to program managers, and our data analysis skills and knowledge of available databases provide critical information for program management and analysis. Our objective position allows us to assist in the development of information for program standards and benefit determination.

Technical Assistance Outputs

  • Policy options comparisons: descriptions of various policy options, how they have been applied in other jurisdictions, and advantages and disadvantages of each option.
  • Spreadsheet tools: spreadsheets to assist program managers in analyzing the predicted energy savings and estimated cost-effectiveness of various energy services packages.
  • Evaluation requirements: descriptions of potential analysis techniques and data needed to accurately estimate program impacts.
  • Energy costs standards: statistics on average energy costs by fuel type and household size.
  • Program recommendations: recommendations for improvements in program performance.

APPRISE Technical Assistance

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

The Community Service Block Grant Program provides funding to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities through services that address employment,  income management, education, housing, nutrition, and health.  APPRISE is supporting the National Association of State Community Service Programs to develop a Data Warehouse for the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program.  We will develop tools for reporting, validation, and analysis of performance measure data at the local, state, territory, and national level.  Additionally, APPRISE is supporting state efforts to collect and report new performance metrics established by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services.  The project will improve data quality, enhance understanding of CSBG outcomes, and inform program decision-making.

APPRISE is furnishing technical support to the Division of Energy Assistance in the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services. As part of this support, APPRISE is assisting in the development of performance measurement procedures that address deficiencies outlined in the 2003 PART Assessment for the LIHEAP Program. APPRISE annually develops State-level targeting performance data that indicate the extent to which States targeted energy assistance to low-income and vulnerable households.

FirstEnergy offers a Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP) and Act 129 Low-Income Programs to assist low-income customers. The programs provide energy efficiency and energy education services, help low-income customers maintain electric service, and protect customers’ health and safety. APPRISE conducted a study to assess recent program changes, and to provide guidance to FirstEnergy on future tracking, reporting, and process improvements. The research included an assessment of what changes should be made to program procedures, whether additional measures should be added, and how projected energy savings for additional energy efficiency measures should be calculated.

APPRISE has provided estimates of energy costs by fuel type and household size for low-income households in New York for the New York Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) office. These estimates were used in New York’s LIHEAP Statewide Annual Energy Cost Standard by Primary Fuel Type that is used in the NY HEAP benefits tables.

Many low-income usage reduction programs are facing increasing challenges serving customers due to the prevalence of health and safety problems that prevent major measures from being installed.  As a result of serious issues in the home, customers must be deferred or are treated with only minor services, and high-usage customer with good potential for savings do not participate or only achieve low energy savings.  This research assessed the circumstances under which additional cost-effective health and safety spending can be invested to achieve greater savings for low-income customers and the program as a whole.