Residential Rebate Pilot - Ongoing Program Analysis

It made sense… from a financial point of view, not only to replace [the old oil boiler] but try to get the best energy efficient boiler I could get.
~RRP Participant

Worcester Energy (WE) staff is in the process of analyzing the program. The overarching question is whether or not the program was a success (in terms of reducing energy use and carbon footprint, improving people’s comfort in their homes, satisfaction with the program, etc.), and what the City can learn about promoting both energy efficiency and renewable energy in the community going forward. WE staff is charged with collecting and analyzing pre and post-installation utility data to answer this overarching question. WE staff also conducted surveys and interviewed a selection of participants in order to develop case studies.

Case Studies: WE staff interviewed a number of participants in late May – early June 2015 to gather in-depth information about participants’ experience with the program. The single-family home comparison case study has been posted.  Staff is working on a three-family case study.

Utility Data Collection and Analysis: The majority of the projects were completed in the second half of 2014. WE staff has collected utility data, using participants’ utility data consent agreement, for the two years preceding improvements in preparation for the analysis and program evaluation. This data will be compared with post-improvement utility data to determine the effectiveness of the program-funded improvements.

Surveys: A participant survey ran 5/6/2015 – 6/3/2015. Most participants were reached via an e-mail survey tool, though a few participants with no e-mail address were contacted via regular mail. Cumulatively, the total response rate was 65%. Below is a sample of responses specifically pertinent to the question of the program's success:

Project Benefits: When asked about five potential program benefits, the majority of participants responded affirmatively. In particular, participants indicated that improved performance of their heating and/or cooling systems, improved comfort, and reduced utility bills were strong benefits of the program:

Incentives Tipping the Balance: Participants were asked whether they would have completed their energy efficiency project had the pilot program incentives not been available. Only 10% of respondents stated that they would have completed all of the improvements made, indicating that financial incentives can help tip the balance in terms of deciding to go ahead with the energy efficiency improvements.

Survey participants overwhelmingly had a good overall experience with the Pilot:

Click here for the entire Survey Results document! 

More information about the program: