Tag: Recovery Act

Getting to Yes? Energy Efficiency Loan Programs in the Southeast

Jen Weiss is a Finance Analyst at the Environmental Finance Center. 

Game dice with Yes, No, and Maybe on the Face

Don’t gamble with program design

Yes, energy efficiency is the low hanging fruit of the energy world.  And yes, the southeastern United States has even been referred to as the Saudi Arabia of energy efficiency (a quote originally attributable to Dr. Marilyn A. Brown, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a Professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy). And yes, it would seem likely that homeowners in the hot, humid southeastern states would be jumping at any chance to reduce their high utility bills during the hot summer months. But for some reason, despite all indicators pointing to “yes,” homeowners in many areas of the country have given a clear response of “no” when presented with an opportunity to finance energy efficiency retrofits with low-interest rate loans.  Which is leaving many analysts in the finance industry, including myself, scratching our heads and wondering “why don’t more homeowners take advantage of these great, low rates?”

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Energy Data Collection Methods: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Guest author Janelle Beverly was a graduate student intern at the Environmental Finance Center this past year. This post summarizes the capstone paper she completed in partial fulfillment of an MPA degree from the UNC School of Government.

Increasingly more state and local governments are exploring their options for encouraging energy efficiency through services such as energy retrofit programs in both the public and private spheres. A critical component of ensuring the success of these programs is calculating the actual savings earned, a process which often presents obstacles to program managers. This research project was conducted in response to these reported difficulties, and assessed the completeness of four energy data collection methods employed in Durham City/County, North Carolina. The study found that utility reports did the best job of providing program managers with the information they needed.

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