In spite of the fact that most utility programs are allowed only to capture energy savings over a one-year period, there are plenty of ways that utilities nationwide are engaging in long-term energy efficiency investments. A recent report published by ACEEE titled Energy Efficiency Over Time: Measuring and Valuing Lifetime Energy Savings in Policy and Planning highlights this concept, while mentioning the importance of longstanding assets. Efficient design and construction measures in new residential buildings are significant energy savers over time, given the 40+ year average lifespan of a new home. These types of investments pay off over the full lifetime as they reduce energy demand and burden on the distribution system for many years.
Enduring measures like efficient new homes offer value over time, which is beneficial for both long-term utility resource planning and non-energy benefits (e.g., public health, property value, etc.). Although recent efforts by various states are pushing for policies that account for lifetime savings, there still is a gap in investment vs. captured savings for these longer-term measures. These policies can be very effective in transforming the market, and we look forward to what these states can accomplish.
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As a leader in residential new construction, Performance Systems Development (PSD) supports various utilities in designing and implementing programs that use a whole-building approach to maximize savings. We leverage our Compass program management software platform to streamline processes, automate design plan review and incentive processing, and develop reports and interfaces for our clients to review program progress. Our experience in market engagement spanning new single- and multi-family, low income, and manufactured homes has afforded us deep engagement in builder and contractor networks, ensuring we achieve energy savings goals every time.