Energy Survey Research and Policy Analysis
APPRISE is conducting a study on the non-energy benefits (NEBs) of the Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) Program. The ESA Program provides no-cost direct installed weatherization and energy efficiency measures to achieve energy savings and improved health, comfort and safety for eligible low-income households served by the IOUs in CA. This study will review and verify the NEBs proposed in a previous study, and develop a streamlined model for estimating the value of the NEBs.
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 was implemented as both a web and mail survey, known as the California Home Energy Survey, and asked residents about their appliances, equipment, and general energy consumption. APPRISE worked with DNV GL Energy Insights USA, Inc. to develop email and mailing materials to encourage resident participation in the survey. In addition, APPRISE was responsible for overseeing a non-response follow-up effort that used incentives, mailings, phone calls, and personal visits to obtain additional responses from households that did not respond to the initial survey requests.
APPRISE conducted research for the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board to explore existing NEI values nationally, regionally, and for CT; gaps in existing CT NEI data; and survey research and data analysis that can address NEI measurement. The research included implementation of a program participant survey for one priority program or measure. The study explored and assessed the current state of the art for measuring NEIs both nationally and regionally, where and how NEIs are used in calculating the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs, how the inclusion of NEIs has impacted energy efficiency programs across the U.S., the best available estimates of the NEIs for CT programs and measures, and how NEIs could be measured and incorporated in future CT evaluations.
- Levels and Types of Energy Insecurity – Estimation of the rate at which low-income households face various types of energy problems and examination of survey respondent reports on the extent to which energy assistance restores home heating and cooling for households experiencing service interruptions.
- Factors Related to Energy Insecurity – An analysis of the factors associated with energy problems including poverty level, energy burden, geographic region and other demographic and housing factors.
- Performance of the Home Energy Insecurity Scale – An assessment of the performance of the Home Energy Insecurity Scale in measuring the impacts of energy costs on low-income households compared to other Energy Insecurity measures used in the past.
APPRISE reviewed DOEE’s LIHEAP design and made recommendations for program modifications in 2018. This study assessed DOEE’s LIHEAP procedures, analyzed the population of households eligible for energy assistance, and calculated the impacts of the assistance on participants’ energy burden. The study furnished DOEE with information needed to modify its program benefits design matrix in a way that meets the statutory guidance furnished to DOEE by the federal LIHEAP program.
As a result of the 2018 study, DOEE modified its LIHEAP program benefits design matrix. In 2020, APPRISE worked with DOEE to calculate the impact of those changes on participants’ energy burden, update analyses of households eligible for energy assistance, and assess how best to integrate DOEE’s Solar for All program with the LIHEAP program.
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.
Furthermore, Congressional Committees indicated in 1994 that LIHEAP grantees needed to reassess their LIHEAP benefit structures to ensure that they are targeting those low income households that have the highest energy costs or needs. The purpose of this evaluation study was to assess to what extent the LIHEAP program is serving the lowest income households that have the highest energy burdens. The study uses data from the 2001 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) to examine the distribution of income and energy burden for low income households and identify those that have the lowest incomes and highest energy burdens (i.e., high burden households). The study uses the 2001 RECS LIHEAP Supplement to measure the effectiveness of the FY 2001 LIHEAP program in serving high burden households. The study quantifies program effectiveness using targeting performance measures. The study also identifies procedures for updating energy burden targeting performance statistics in the future.
APPRISE developed 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 allows 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.
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 assess participation and improve outreach for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Fuel Assistance program. The study combined publicly available survey data and Massachusetts LIHEAP data with program literature and agency interviews to understand opportunities and barriers to increasing program participation. The research furnished DHCD with data and analysis needed to develop outreach strategies that target underserved segments of the eligible population and increase enrollment.
APPRISE is conducting a comprehensive review of the Massachusetts LIHEAP program’s benefit determination procedures. The study includes reviewing program goals and procedures, assessing energy burden outcomes among LIHEAP recipients using energy bill data collected for the LIHEAP Performance Measures, and engaging the program’s stakeholders to determine next steps in developing updated benefit determination procedures to improve client outcomes.
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.
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 supported the National Association of State Community Service Programs in the development of a Data Warehouse for the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. We developed tools for reporting, validation, and analysis of performance measure data at the local, state, territory, and national level. Additionally, APPRISE supported state efforts to collect and report new performance metrics established by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services. This project has led to improved data quality, an enhanced understanding of CSBG outcomes, and will be used to inform program decision-making.
APPRISE assessed the fiscal integrity and operational efficiency of the NJ LIHEAP and USF Programs. This research included an assessment of the performance of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Division of Housing and Community Resources (DHCR), Office of Home Energy Assistance (OHEA) and an assessment of the operations of the LIHEAP and USF programs. We reviewed program documents, and conducted interviews with HHS LIHEAP compliance staff, DCA management, USF managers at the NJ Board of Public Utilities, and managers at Community Based Organizations that administer the programs. We also reviewed program databases and statistics, conducted on-site interviews and observations with a sample of local agencies, and conducted a survey with LIHEAP recipients.
APPRISE conducted research for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to assess participation and outreach for the New Jersey LIHEAP and Universal Service Fund (USF) programs. The study used publicly available survey data and state program data to assess the characteristics of the income-eligible and LIHEAP-recipient populations. The study also estimated participation rates among different segments of the low-income population. Local agency interviews and a review of state and local outreach methods provided information on opportunities and barriers to increasing program participation. The research furnished DCA with data and analysis needed to develop outreach strategies and policies to increase LIHEAP participation.
APPRISE conducted research to assess how NYSERDA can effectively coordinate income-qualified energy efficiency programs with local energy and housing funding sources to improve outcomes for low- to moderate-income New Yorkers. APPRISE assessed what funding sources are available for potential coordination through literature review and in-depth interviews with local program managers in six localities in New York. The research provided NYSERDA with recommendations for prioritizing coordination with local funding sources, designing options for service coordination, and planning pilot coordination activities.
NYSERDA is engaged in the development of the New Efficiency initiatives to help New York State accelerate energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease consumer energy costs, and create job opportunities. NYSERDA is responsible for ensuring that low- and moderate-income (LMI) households benefit directly from these new initiatives through targeted programs. APPRISE was responsible for furnishing research and analytic support to identify program design considerations, document portfolio costs and impacts, and present options for the engagement of NYSERDA, the utilities, and the publicly funded programs. As part of this research, APPRISE developed detailed documentation of the LMI energy efficiency programs implemented in ten comparable states and identified program models that may help to expand NYSERDA’s current LMI offerings.