Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs 101 (Text Version)

Courtney: Hello, everyone and welcome to the DOE technical assistance program webinar. Our webinar today is Utilities Rebates 101 and our presenter is Catul Kiti and we also have Colin Odell on the line. Before we jump into today's presentation I'd like to take a few moments to describe the DOE's Technical Assistance Program or TAP a little bit further.

TAP is managed by a team in DOE's Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Department of Energy's technical assistance program provides state, local, and tribal officials the tools and resources needed to implement successful and sustainable clean energy programs. This effort is aimed at accelerating the implementation of Recovery Act projects and programs, improving their performance, increasing the return on and sustainability of a Recovery Act investment and building protracted clean energy capacity at the state, local, and tribal level.

From one-on-one assistance to an extensive online resource library to facilitation of peer exchange of best practices and lessons learned, TAP offers a wide range of resources to serve the needs of state local and tribal officials and their staffs. These technical assistance providers can provide short-term, unbiased expertise in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Program design in implementation, financing, performance contracting, state and local capacity building. And in addition to providing one-on-one assistance we're also available to work with grantees at no cost to facilitate peer-top-peer matching workshops and training.

We encourage everyone to utilize the TAP blog. It's a platform that allows state, cities, counties, and tribes to connect with technical and program experts and share best practices. The blog is frequently updated with energy efficiency or renewable energy-related posts. We encourage you to utilize the blog to ask questions of our topical experts, share your success stories, best practices, or lessons learned, and interact with your peers.

You can also submit a request for direct technical assistance online via the technical assistance center. Once your request has been submitted it'll be evaluated to determine the level and type of assistance TAP will provide. And with that we will turn it over to Catul to begin the webinar.

Catul Kiti: Thank you very much, Courtney. Good afternoon everyone. Today I'm going to give an overview of utility energy efficiency programs focusing mainly on how programs in Maryland have or are working with state and federal agencies to enhance overall program efforts. I'll go over a couple of general slides that are probably very familiar to many of you before looking at some specific examples on the residential side, before handing it over to my colleague Colin Odell who will discuss commercial-industrial program characteristics.

I'm sure many of you have seen this slide. It's been there on different webinars and presentations. But I just wanted to bring your attention again to how much money is flowing into energy efficiency program implementation. In 2006 funding went from $2.6 billion to approximately $5.3 billion dollars in 2009. This, again, emphasizes the importance that states and utilities are putting in energy efficiency program development and implementation.

There are various sources of funding for these programs. Again, these are just a refresher that I thought would be important to bring up. Primarily for U.S. stakeholders as I think it's important that you're able to help influence the way that these programs are designed and funded. So we have public benefit funds that are currently in existence in approximately 20 states. There are energy efficiency resources standards, which are in effect in about 19 states. And in Maryland we have a regulatory DSM process that goes through our regulators every three years.

On the next slide I'm going to discuss the evolution of residential programs with some specific examples in Maryland. We tend to see that utility programs tend to evolve in this pattern. The slide that I have in front of you gives the typical evolution of a residential efficient products program. We tend to see that in new or emerging markets utilities on the residential side start with simple programs to implement. These can be CFL coupons or giveaways. After one or two years, after they've gotten their feet wet and are a bit more comfortable with the implementation we add on CFL markdown programs and appliance rebates.

As programs tend to mature we see advanced technologies being added into the portfolio mix. These can be LEDs, specialty CFLs, fixtures, smart appliances, and then consumer electronics and power management. We tend to divide the country into three different regions where we have emerging programs. Mainly the Southwest, the Mid and the Mid-Atlantic. We have mature programs in the Northeast, the Northwest, California where you tend to see those type of product program mix in effect. Similarly on the residential retrofit side we will - we see programs tending to start out with simple, online audits evolving into what we call a quick home energy checkup, which is an onsite audit before adding on more complex home performance with Energy Star programs. I won't go into details on how each program is designed and implemented because I'm sure that you're all very familiar with these and I'm - Colin and I are willing to answer any questions after the presentation is over.

I did want to give an example of how ICF has worked with Baltimore Gas & Electric to launch a full suite of residential programs in 2009 following their DSM finding in 2008. So before BG we launched five different residential programs together with a subset of programs. These included efficient products, residential retrofit, limited income, HVAC rebates, and new construction. Now even though I said that we launched all these programs we actually launched them in a tiered or staggered manner that allowed us to take advantage of infrastructure that had been build for the simpler projects - sorry, for the simpler programs to roll out.

In the year and a half that the programs have been in existence we've reached about 90 percent of our two-year savings goals and I anticipate either passing or achieving those by the end of the year. Today I specifically wanted to focus on how by working with local utilities, state and federal programs can help drive participation leading to increased savings and ultimately market transformation. And I wanted to take a look at how Maryland's used its ARRA funding as part of its state energy efficiency appliance rebate program to work with the utilities to enhance the programs that they were offering.

So Maryland was awarded about $5.2 million as part of its ARRA funding for the CR program. The Maryland energy administration worked with the four IOUs and the largest co-op in Maryland to layer the ARRA funds on top of existing appliance rebates that the utilities offered. We had an April 22 launch to coincide with Earth Day and we had rebates for clothes washers, refrigerators, which were already in the existing portfolio. And the Maryland Energy Administration added on electric heat pump water heaters, which the utilities were not currently accepting.

The following slides give us - well, shows us the impact of the additional ARRA funds on those programs. And we can see after launch in April of 2010 we see that spike in rebate applications coming in. And that spike has maintained throughout the year. If we look to the left of the graph we'll see that, you know, there was a previous spike over the holiday season when people do their appliance shopping. But then, again, there was a dip. Then we saw the big spike at the beginning of the SEEARP program and that has generally been maintained throughout the year. This resulted in a correspondent savings.

One of the reasons that we saw this increased savings for the program is not only that we had additional rebates coming in but that one factor - I'm sorry one factor that the MEA included in designing their program was that they only incentive the higher efficiency appliances. So we used CE too for clothes washers and refrigerators when layering it on top of the utility rebate programs.

I also wanted to give you an example of Southern Maryland Electric Co-op to juxtapose the BGE rebates, which has about 1.2 million customers versus SMECO, which has about 140,000 customers. We again saw a similar spike in applications per month that has been sustained as well. In June MEA decided to add additional rebates or additional measures. These included freezers and sorry for the typo there - room ACs and HVAC systems. And, again, we see a similar spike. This is an example from Southern Maryland Electric Coop where we saw after invoicing began in August for systems that were installed June, July we saw this big spike in savings and applications coming in as a result of the CR funding.

So, lessons learned. The impact of CR. We saw a rise in applications and rebate reductions, an increase in kW and energy savings. An increase in interest in other utility programs. So it afforded us greater cross marketing and selling opportunities. We also see market transformation as higher efficiency units were purchased and new technologies were introduced. The utilities were not previously incenting electric heat pump heaters. But a lot of them with the program expiring are choosing to include or are considering including the electric heat pump water heater in their next filing or in a mini-filing.

We have also learned that it's important when working with utilities that state and local government agencies or EECBG grantees should look to leverage. What - the infrastructure that has already been put in place instead of competing against those programs. We see that across the board that has been a successful model. It's also important to look at the admin versus incentive cost mix. Typical utility programs cost between - anywhere from 38 to 50, 60 percent when we look at the admin versus incentive split to run. This obviously depends on at what point in the program you are. A new program can run you anywhere from that 40 to 60 percent split. Part of DOE's rules and regulations where that only 20 percent of funding could be used for admin. It is very difficult to have a successful program on 20 percent admin splits. So leveraging what your utility has in place will help you have a successful program. With that I will turn it over to my colleague, Colin Odell, to give you an overview of the commercial and industrial programs. Colin?

Colin Odell: Do you want to advance the slide? Good afternoon. Going to start with information about what is typically seen in a commercial-industrial program, suite of programs. Then a little bit of potential interface between our funding and the programs. And then a couple of examples of where it's been done in - one in Baltimore and one in Boston.

Generally a - could you back that one up? Generally a core - C&I portfolio is three core programs. Small C&I retrofit that is usually a direct install or higher incentive level targeted at the hard to reach, small C&I marketplace, general C&I retrofit, and a C&I new construction. Generally these programs are partnered with technical services to help people to be able to take advantage of the programs to utilize 'em. Energy audits, focus studies, things of that nature to identify opportunities and potential savings. And as Catul said, with the 20 percent administration cap quite often these programs can be leveraged to compliment the EECBG assistance and funding. Next slide, Catul.

Small C&I retrofit as I said before. Classic, hard to reach market. Typically limited to small business customers either with a demand or a consumption limit. Generally smaller projects. Incentives are usually a heavy majority of the total cost. They're expensive so opportunities are limited. It's usually lighting and quite often the effective versions of these programs are distributed through direct installation contractors. This is something where times like we've got now you can turn it into an opportunity because people are looking to save energy and usually these programs can be done on a cash flow neutral or positive basis. Next one.

The standard C&I retrofit is for equipment replacement that is something that doesn't have to be done. It is typically three areas or types of programs. A prescriptive program, fixed incentives for common measures. Things where you - wide applicability between customer groups. Consistent energy savings. Consistent pricing in cost of the measures. Then there is usually a custom component that is very specific to the customer's needs and incentives are typically based on the amount of energy savings and the cost of the project. And then retrocommissioning that deals with how you use things rather than the efficiency of the things. It's low cost measures making the building run well rather than putting in new equipment. Next slide.

C&I retrofit programs are open market programs. They will tend to recognize differences between end use sectors. It's key to have the right mix of helping people figure out what they need to do, the value of what they need to do, and the incentives to overcome the first costs. You need to keep things simple. If you require 15 pages of paperwork people aren't gonna want to play. You have to engage key players. In addition to the customers you've got to get the trade allies, the distributors, the contractors as part of your team in doing things. Otherwise, it doesn't work. And through engaging the contractors you build structure in a marketplace that will tend to continue on beyond programs. Next one.

New construction and other what we call lost opportunity programs. And what a lost opportunity program is is when someone is making a major investment - new piece of equipment, new chiller, new air conditioning unit. If you don't impact the energy efficiency when they make the change or when they meet - build a new building, you lose the opportunity to impact it for quite a few years. And that's where these can be important.

And, again, prescriptive components for the simple things that you know work - lighting, things like that - can be triggered late in the design process. You don't have to get involved real early. You've got custom components that are site-specific and, again, the same incentive basis typically. And you can be multiple measures, multiple systems in the building. And then there's a comprehensive approach that targets a design process. It's the holistic look at the building and all components. And rather than incenting a lighting and an HVAC system it's, "How do you get the whole building to work together?" It can be based on things like lead, but it's the holistic approach to the building. Next slide if you would.

New construction targets the lost opportunities. A big part of it is technical services. It's training. It's getting to the design-build teams. It's design assistance. Some programs you do the energy modeling that they need to do. You may be supplementing commissioning of the building. It's in addition to the incentives for the equipment. You also look at how do you make it run right once it's in there. And now the key is keep the processes simple. And a good program will leverage green building initiatives because right now that has more to do with people moving forward on new construction projects than the incentives tend to - tend to. Next slide.

What do you typically have in these programs? Basically anything that uses energy. Lighting controls, motors, HVAC. Although motors will tend to be going away at the end of this year because the new federal minimum standards. Then you have a lot of industrial. Compressed air, refrigeration, process heating and cooling. Lesser extent, building envelope. Most of the building codes have got that to where it's difficult to make those things cost-effective. Next slide.

Technical assistance. You're trying to help people figure out how to save the most energy they can and use their spending wisely. It can be walk-through audits. Help 'em get their head around the things they can do. Then you may get into individual parts of what you discover in a walkthrough audit to help 'em develop a project. Design assistance - some programs provide incentives to design teams for the extra work they have to do to develop and present energy efficiency. Commissioning lead certification. Benchmarking. All of these things come into good program design and tend to - you get more of them the bigger the program is because funding does matter. Next slide.

In commercial-industrial programs the typical outreach channels are aimed at driving participation in the program. You've got the typical trade allies, the vendors and contractors that work in the marketplace. Your associations. Design firms. The architectural and engineering firms. Developers. The outreach takes on a lot of different formats. One-on-one, very effective one for design community as one should learn. Quite often it is market segment-based. And you always try to leverage the utility account managers for their contacts and access. They do have relationships with the customers. And to ignore that can be counterproductive. Catul, next slide.

A little bit of using the ARRA funds with programs. You've got to have different strategies for areas with and without existing utility or public benefit funds rebate programs. Where there are - is funding available you want to compliment the program. You don't want to compete with it. Setting up a program that is in competition with a utility program by offering different incentive levels for the same things creates competition - confusion in the marketplace. And it can make the focus be not the saving the energy but, "Where do we get the bigger incentive for doing it?". And that often times will kill projects. A good way to compliment is to fill niche needs to increase participation.

In the two examples that follow you'll see where working with small business or working with non-profits to overcome some of their extra needs can work well. And leveraging the existing infrastructure and resources makes your money go farther and helps you meet that 20 percent. The existing programs will handle a lot of the intake, the measurement and verification that things got put in. And that makes it so that more of the EECBG money goes to the consumer for consumer benefit.

Where there are no existing programs, the scope of what you do is depending on the funding you've got available. If there's not many dollars you can't do a big program. Typically simple, prescriptive rebate programs will work well. They've got lower costs. Helps you get under the administrative percentage hurdle. And you can get larger benefits for the dollars spent. Another program that - methodology that's used quite often in these situations is an RFP or a grant format where you offer funding and let people bring you projects to evaluate for it. Next slide.

Good example of a program that works to fill a niche need is the Renew Boston energy retrofit for small business. They - the goals - they wanted to target the very small businesses, less than 20 kW, job creation in Boston, and to minimize administrative costs so that targeted participants get the most benefit. It - they did it with the seamless integration with the existing utility efficiency programs that gave them all the benefit of the existing relationships with trade allies for job creation and a good track record of achieving program goals. Next. Catul?

The enhance - what was done was to offer to pick up for these very small customers the 30 percent of the program cost that the utility program did not cover so that the customer is getting the service, the direct install portions of the program - of the utility programs free. There's no investment. It is done on a targeted neighborhood basis. They go in and to get maximum saturation at the lowest cost. It's been going on for a couple of months and to date they've got 126 out of the 800 participants they are targeting to get.

They are using the utility contractors. The utility contractor is handling all the administration. All the reporting for the - that's necessary for the ARRA funds. Basically all Boston is having to do is supply the extra money. Very effective for them. Next slide.

Another example is the city of Baltimore with their community energy savers grants program. Baltimore committed $1 million dollars for 501(c)3 organizations to help them reduce energy use. They are - offer up to $50,000 for a project technical assistance. And the project can either be education, neighborhood education type of a program or an energy efficiency improvement to their facilities. They leverage the existing BGE programs where BGE provides the audits. Their funding covers things not done under the utility program and their program interns train - were trained by the BGE programs. So maximizing what the utility program could do to help minimize the administrative costs. Next slide. This is it.

Catul Kiti: Thank you, Courtney. I think we've come to the end of our presentation.

Cortney: Okay. Great. So we can take questions now from the audience. If anyone has a question you can raise your hand using the hand- raising feature in the attendee list and we will call on you and unmute you if you have a question. Catul, it also looks like a few people typed questions into the question box.

Catul Kiti: Okay.

Cortney: Would you like me to read those outloud or?

Catul Kiti: Sure.

Cortney: We can also unmute the attendees if they still have the questions. Here. We have our first question was from Alex. And Alex I will actually. I can unmute you if you'd like and you can ask it verbally over the phone. So Alex, are you still there? Okay. So the question from Alex is, "Which strategy would save more overall energies? Energy efficiency rebate programs or energy audits and retrofits for state-owned buildings?"

Catul Kiti: Colin, you can jump in as well over here. But typically on the residential side we see that lighting has traditionally constituted between 60 and 80 percent of all savings from residential programs. The residential retrofits tend to be a lot harder to garner as many savings from, particularly because participation is not that easy to get when we're looking at the whole home retrofit. For example, from performance of Energy Star because in many instances financing is not available to help drive the market to where it gets to a point where you can compete with, for example, savings from state energy buildings, which are - which definitely provide quite a big opportunity. And I don't know, Colin, if you have anything to add onto that?

Colin Odell: In the commercial and industrial marketplace the energy or rebate program and programs in state facilities are essentially synonymous. The energy savings opportunities are going to be equal. The saving more overall energy for the program dollar available would depend on the funding split. If you were looking for a completely subsidized government program building you're going to get less savings than you would if there is dollars coming in from the commercial or industrial sector on it.

But the opportunity in the commercial-industrial or non-residential marketplace would not be different between commercial-industrial buildings, government buildings. Building with government offices is not much different than a building with commercial offices, for instance.

Catul Kiti: But to add onto that we do see that commercial programs do contribute a big proportion of savings goals and targets for utility programs across the board.

Colin Odell: And to follow on with that, Catul, a lot of that is because one commercial-industrial project with one sign-up or opportunity cost can have the savings impacts of hundreds of residential just because of the energy consumption of the buildings and that tends to be the major reason. They're bigger buildings. You can save more.

Cortney: Okay. Great. So I have another question and these two actually go together. So the first one's from Bo and it's, "What does C&I stand for?" And then we have another from Robert and it's, "How does an engineering firm become a partner in the C&I program?"

Colin Odell: C&I is commercial-industrial. A better term in a lot of programs sometimes is non-residential. It - you know because quite often a commercial and industrial program also includes government, institutional, education facilities and that.

C&I is commercial-industrial. A better term in a lot of programs sometimes is non-residential. It - you know because quite often a commercial and industrial program also includes government, institutional, education facilities and that.

Courtney: Okay. Great. So we're actually - we will take a verbal question from Mark Mangano. So I will unmute him right now. Mark, are you on the line?

Mark Mangano: Yes. Yes. Can you hear me?

Courtney: Yes, you can go ahead.

Mark Mangano: Okay. We have rebate programs that we initiated into, as you stated, to compliment the utility programs and one thing we tried to avoid - and actually it was a prerequisite of the EECBG was that we not pay 100 percent of the cost. And part - one of the utility companies even emphasized that more. And I'm wondering how you can rationalize paying 100 percent of, I guess you said in Boston projects? I don't know exactly what the projects were but - whether they were audits or what. But they - someone has to look to see if the project warrants the measures that are gonna be offered to this C&I or whatever it was. So how did - how was that monitored?

Colin Odell: In Massachusetts they run a direct install utility audit program where the utility contractor that implements the program goes in and does a full audit of the building, develops the savings impacts with - or the measures. Typically lighting, some refrigeration measures if it - if there's refrigeration in there. And that program is eligible if I'm remembering right up to 200 kW peak demand, average peak demand customers.

What Boston did was target the smallest of the small that had very, very low participation in the existing programs because they just did not have the money available to even kick in the 20 to 30 percent of the costs for the measures.

Mark Mangano: Okay. How was that - how was that verified?

Colin Odell: The - by their utility - it was that if they had a utility demand of under 20 kW.

Mark Mangano: Okay.

Colin Odell: And if - and this is only for the direct install measures.

Mark Mangano: Mm-hmm.

Colin Odell: If a customer had something that needed to be done. For instance, in working with the gas utility programs, a boiler or a furnace replacement. It wasn't part of the direct install. It was limited to that the utility contribution and the Boston contribution could be no more than 75 percent.

Mark Mangano: Okay. And that was instituted by who?

Colin Odell: City of Boston is the one that wanted to target these smaller customers. This is â€"

Mark Mangano: No. I mean the - I mean the limitations of 75 percent.

Colin Odell: That was part of the agreement. You know, the City of Boston essentially.

Mark Mangano: Okay.

Colin Odell: Now, generally it is not a good idea to not have some skin in the game if you will on the part of the _____,

Mark Mangano: Exactly.

Colin Odell: - except that these folks were just so small they would be doing nothing.

Mark Mangano: Okay.

Colin Odell: And they were looking for it. And part of this program is - was also being used as a training pilot in that all of the installers, the people selling it had to be City of Boston residents.

Mark Mangano: Okay.

Colin Odell: So that was another piece of it so that they were looking to get - bring the benefit with a pilot program if you will. There was about a - just shy of $1 million. It was $990,000 or so that was committed to this.

Mark Mangano: Mm-hmm. I like your idea of keep it simple.

Colin Odell: Yep. It's the only way it works.

Mark Mangano: Yeah. Okay. Thanks very much.

Courtney: Okay. So we have another question from Josh Ine. So, Josh, I will unmute you.

Josh Ine: Hi. Yeah. So we're a small startup company in Maryland providing energy services and currently we're having troubles becoming approved partners within the utility state programs, mainly because we don't have the references that you need to become an approved partner and then carry out the program. Some other problems we're running into is that the budget for these state utility programs isn't big enough for them to review our application in, you know, a given time period.

So for New Jersey we're gonna have to wait until February to carry out the project. So it's delaying our procedures with the customer who has already showed great interest in using us as a vendor. The problem being they're not gonna be able to receive these incentives until we will become an approved vendor. So in many cases I'm seeing that the technical assistance program administrator, usually a third party who verifies all the savings measures that you use, is actually more of a barrier than a catalyst to the programs. I was wondering if you could comment on the struggles that the smaller companies are having here and more generally the structure of utility programs.

Colin Odell: Are you in the normal utility programs as most of them are implemented? A prescriptive rebate program, things of that nature?

Josh Ine: We're actually looking at more comprehensive measures. So we will â€"

Colin Odell: In what vein? Equipment or retro commissioning?

Josh Ine: No. Retro commissioning is one of our integrator services that we provide. 'Cause we feel that even though it has a great up front cost the low cost measures that optimize buildings - building mechanical and infrastructure.

Colin Odell: I know in BG the retrocommissioning program has a design where they are looking for people to do it by that design. One of the things - reasons that the utilities will have requirements of experience and things like that is that the contractor that implements it is the one that the utility relies on to generate the energy savings that they claim back to the commission to prove that the programs are doing what they're supposed to be doing. The programs are built and such that you pre-qualify the people to do it so you don't have to qualify individual projects and spend the money of checking on the numbers that come in again. So you're not - you're paying for the engineering service and you don't have to pay somebody to check on the engineering service that occurred. This sometimes creates attention in the marketplace.

I know that there was an RFP that was issued that went out to everybody that was a member - you know, was on the D.C. and Maryland area commission association lists.

Josh Ine: Mm-hmm.

Colin Odell: And that will be coming up again I would guess in 2012 when the next phase of the programs comes up. But -

Josh Ine: Right. That's another issue that we've been running into is finding when these RFPs are coming out. Being in contact with all the different programs.

Colin Odell: Have you contacted BGE to be listed as a service provider? A general service provider in the program?

Josh Ine: Right. Basically so that's just an application that you'd fill out and then back to them?

Colin Odell: Yeah.

Josh Ine: You would have that information - ?

Colin Odell: And that's where I know - I happen to know they specifically poll their - that's the first place they go for a mailing list â€"

Josh Ine: Right.

Colin Odell: - to let people know things.

Josh Ine: The issue is the way we structure it â€"

Colin Odell: I would suggest you take this offline with BGE. I had been involved in that program until recently where I'm down in the Southeastern part of the country right now in startups down there. But my suggestion would be to do - talk to the folks there.

Josh Ine: Right. The issue I see is basically that it's not parallel structure within all the utility programs. So each one is different â€"

Colin Odell: Mm-hmm.

Josh Ine: And, you know identifying what the differences are.

Colin Odell: And part of that is because each of the utilities and their customer bases do tend to have differences and that's one of the reasons for doing.

Josh Ine: Yeah. I'd like to see more standardized programs.

Catul Kiti: Yeah. Josh, this is Catul. Just to add onto what Colin said. There are different stakeholders or trade allies that would love to see a standardized program across the nation, whether it's on the residential side or whether it's the commercial side that they can come and plug and play in.

Unfortunately, a lot of the utility programs are - so they're designed and dictated by their regulators and a lot of what they have to do has go through this regulatory process. So you're â€"

Josh Ine: The regulators being the commission?

Catul Kiti: Being the commission. So you will find that, you know, based on the customer base, the customer demographic, how active the commissioners are that there will be huge differences in the way utility programs are run across the country and there's not much that we can do about that.

Josh Ine: Is there anybody that puts out a report on how different utility programs are structured? Rebate programs nationwide? So, you know, based on each state?

Catul Kiti: ACEEE has a good collection of reports. So if you go to their website you can generally find reports that give you an overview â€"

Josh Ine: Right.

Catul Kiti: - of areas - programs around the country.

Josh Ine: Right. 'Cause you have desire but they don't always update. It's not as detailed as you'd like sometimes.

Catul Kiti: Yeah. It is tough if you're working nationally.

Josh Ine: Right.

Colin Odell: The other thing that's coming into play in energy efficiency program funding is rather than system benefit charges is energy efficiency as part of an integrated resource plan. And where you have that kind of a program, what do utilities do and what measures get offered in that, quite often is a function of electric rates. So parts of the country with lower electric rates have very different looking programs than parts of the country with higher electric rates.

Josh Ine: Right. And that gets into where the commission sees the - those necessary -

Colin Odell: Yeah. And where the electric system has the need. Is it an energy situation? Is it peak demand? Is it pocketed transmission constraints? This all comes into the design of energy efficiency programs.

Josh Ine: Right.

Colin Odell: Because the cost effectiveness with the ratepayer's fund - funds is always part of the design process and that varies by utility.

Josh Ine: Maybe that'll be interesting to see a report of that.

Colin Odell: That - again, ACEEE has got a lot of that.

Josh Ine: Okay. All right. Well, thank you for your help.

Courtney: Okay. So there are a couple more questions that have been typed into the question box. So I can ask these. The next one is from Robert Welch and he says that he works with several communities in Western New York and most do not have the money in the budget to implement such a program. "Is there grant money or other incentives to implement a community energy alliance?" And he also followed up with, "Does the C&I help out with this?"

Colin Odell: New York programs come in two flavors. The statewide programs that are under NYSERDA and the utility specific programs that are part of the integrated resource planning type process. On the utility standpoint those plans for through 2011 are fairly simple programs with prescriptive and custom components for gas and electric savings. There - I don't think NYSERDA has anything right now that is community-based. Their focus has been more market-based stuff. The - some of the ARRA funding that went into communities would have been - you know, would be the source for this kind of a program where potentially, you know, communities could have joined together for it. But from the utilities standpoint that I am aware of, no. There is not that kind of funding that I think you're asking about.

Courtney: Okay. Great. The next one is from Kathleen Newcomers and she asked for the public benefit fund. You said funds were added to existing rebates. Can you give a dollar amount for the funds added to the rebate?

Catul Kiti: I assume that she's talking about the residential programs where the state of Maryland added dollars to existing utility appliance rebates. Utilities had $50 for clothes washers, $50 for refrigerators, and $25 for room A/C. The state added $100 to clothes washer program, an additional $50 for the refrigerator program, and an additional $25 to the room A/C program. And then for the new rebates on the appliance side they introduced $100 freezer rebates and a $300 electric heat pump water heater rebate. And then they added on $500 to the existing HVAC rebate, which was initially funded at between I think $275 and $400 depending on what system you installed.

Courtney: Okay. The next one is from John Ackerly and he says, "We are a non-profit working for Maryland state legislators who will propose a grant program for residential pellet stoves and certain clean woodstoves. How does one estimate public interest in a new program for a 30 to 40 percent rebate program?

Catul Kiti: That is an interesting question. I would work with probably the Maryland Energy Administration to see how best to incorporate or to see what resources they have to gauge interest in those types of programs or that type of measure and who would best be served by that measure. Colin, do you have anything to add onto that?

Colin Odell: From a theoretical program design standpoint what is generally used is something known as a payback acceptance curve. There is research available that indicates that at varying payback levels the likelihood of a consumer, either residential or non-residential, to adopt a - you know, take an action. And when we are doing potential studies and things like that, that is the type of tool that we use. It would - if that's what you're talking about to estimate a potential size of the market, it's that kind of an economic study to do it.

Courtney: Okay. We have another question from Kathy Newcomer. And it - she asks what did you use to track the kilowatts per hour savings in the Maryland public benefit fund projects. Did you use portfolio manager and how long did you track the project?

Catul Kiti: Colin, portfolio manager's only used on the commercial-industrial side.

Colin Odell: Yes.

Catul Kiti: And they're doing a benchmarking on commercial buildings. The Maryland program was tracked using our internal DSM program, which we call Vision so we receive, once we process all the rebates we have a deemed savings value for each appliance or measure that's being incented and we apply that to come up with a savings. Colin, I'm not sure. Was there a benchmarking program as part of the ARRA program in Maryland?

Colin Odell: The place that portfolio manager is used in the BGE programs is in the retrocommissioning program. You know, benchmarking the building and then the continued benchmarking of it is something that is encouraged as part of the program from the building operator standpoint of being able to see the improvements and keep track of it. But portfolio manager in and of itself for a measures-based deficiency program does not always bring an easy process for tracking the savings. It works better when you're making holistic improvements or operational improvements to a building rather than equipment improvements.

Courtney: Okay. I think we had John Ackerly had his hand raised again. So, John, if you're still there I'll unmute you. Hi, John? Okay, we'll come back to him. Another question in the - that was typed into the question box, we have Julia Carter. And I think she's referring to an answer that the two of you just gave and she asks, "Does that mean that behavior modification strategies generally must be quantified through a utility state-specific study in order to be promoted?"

Catul Kiti: Can you repeat the question, please?

Courtney: Okay. Julia asked, "Does that mean that behavior modification strategies generally must be quantified through a utility or state-specific study in order to be promoted?"

Catul Kiti: I would say that generally speaking as Colin mentioned, before any programs are implemented or rolled out we go through a modeling phase, a modeling exercise that would give us a good indication of participation and cost effectiveness. If behavior modification - well, some of the new behavior modification programs that are - that we are starting to see in the field that claim certain savings have gone through that design modeling process. So, yes, we would want to model anything before we implement it.

Colin Odell: And typically a - you know, it would depend somewhat on what is being asked about with the behavior modification program. There are a number of pilots that utilities are doing right now that have to do with providing residential customers information, whether it is post the bill or immediate feedback with advance metering infrastructure to see how they react to having more information about their electric use. And typically there is - they will be started based on non-location specific information. But then generally most utilities or states run their own pilots to see how it works in the local jurisdiction.

On the CI side retrocommissioning is typically the - you know, the place where operational considerations come into play in that kind of a program. I don't know if that helps but generally what works in California may not work in middle America and it may not work in Baltimore because you have price differences and things like that. So that has a lot to do with the behavior modification programs.

Courtney: Okay. Well, at this time we have no more questions. So I want to thank Catul and Colin today for presenting. We also want to encourage everyone who's still on the line to attend the upcoming webinars that we have with the DOE Solution Center. And, Colin or Catul, do you have any last things to add?

Colin Odell: Other than thanks for the time putting up listening to us. No, on my part.

Catul Kiti: I just want to reiterate what Colin said and thank you all for participating in the webinar today.

Courtney: Okay. Great. Well then, Jennifer, that ends our broadcast. Thank you very much.