Energy Efficiency Programs in a COVID-19 World
- Aug 6, 2020 4:06 pm GMTAug 6, 2020 2:00 pm GMT
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As an energy efficiency program designer and evaluator, I receive a lot of questions about the future of energy efficiency programs in the midst of the pandemic. Many utility program implementers have pivoted to virtual energy audits and shifted their messaging in Home Energy Reports to focus on additional ways to save energy during these uncertain times.
Other continued operations on a smaller scale. For example, the utilities in Arkansas used this pause in operations to increased installations of energy-efficient HVAC equipment in hotels and schools--with the implementers taking advantage of these closed facilities.
Some programs have stopped operating out of concern for both customers and contractors. Weatherization programs have shut down as have many direct install C&I programs. And there will no doubt be long-term impacts from these missed opportunities.
But energy efficiency program designers, implementers, and evaluators are a creative group--and we will figure out work-arounds to resume program operations and also new strategies to document energy savings.
It's a new world for all of us, but the energy efficiency has bounced back before from economic downturns and funding short-falls. Energy programs are resilient--just like the professionals that design, implement, and evaluate them.