Cleveland Energy $aver: Proving Retrofit Savings

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cesIn 2011, the Cleveland Energy $aver (CE$) program adopted OptiMiser, a BPI-2400 compliant auditing tool, which provided utility-bill calibrated savings estimates for their residential energy retrofit program.  By pairing OptiMiser with engaging pre- and post-retrofit reports, CE$ now possesses the ability to provide comprehensive estimated and verified savings results to homeowners that has set them apart from other energy efficiency programs in the State of Ohio.

Validation of savings increases customer confidence

Homeowners in the CE$ program receive a 12-month follow-up report based on their pre- and post-retrofit gas and electric usage. This report allows CE$ to clearly demonstrate the relationship between energy efficiency improvements and utility bill savings. As a result, homeowners can see the direct results of their investments in energy efficiency.

One of the biggest challenges for marketing energy efficiency programs such as CE$ is assuring homeowners that promised saving estimates are true. Since implementing these reports, CE$ has seen their conversion rate rise to 48% with an average homeowner investment of $6,000.

Utility bill calibration ensures efficient and accurate M&V

Utility bill calibration allows the program to more accurately calculate energy savings for each recommended energy upgrade measure as well as verify reductions in usage post-retrofit. OptiMiser calculates the adjusted savings estimates for any changes from the improvements proposed during the initial audit, and compares the original audit to test-out or QA-adjusted savings. In pre-retrofit energy audits, predicted energy savings for homeowners ranged from 30% to 50%.  Post-retrofit analysis of test-out data shows realized savings of 42% for homeowners in the program. Program realization rates were 2% higher than predicted savings, demonstrating the value of utility bill calibration.

CE$ is currently working with OptiMiser to develop a master data reporting system that will automatically integrate individual homeowner savings into a master report to allow for the presentation of savings to the funders of the program.

Custom report and form generation streamlines process

OptiMiser worked with CE$ to design a report for homeowners that accommodates a number of customizations. The report includes rebates and discounts from local utility companies and municipalities, as well as a price sheet unique to the northeast Ohio area to accurately reflect pricing for improvements. In addition, the system automatically completes numerous forms and checklists required by the funders of the CE$ program. The final result is an eye-catching finished product that proves to be an effective tool for generating homeowner interest and participation in CE$.

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