HPC Gets Ready for the Release of a Groundbreaking Framework on Cost Effectiveness Testing
On May 8, 2017, the National Efficiency Screening Project held a final webinar for more than forty academic experts, industry stakeholders, non-profits and state officials who serve on the Review Committee for the draft National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM). Numerous comments and improvements have been incorporated into the final draft NSPM which will be released nationally on May 18, 2017.
The NSPM is designed to be the definitive resource for cost-effectiveness testing and will describe best practices in evaluating energy efficiency while providing guidance on cost-effectiveness policy issues. The NSPM will introduce a framework for each state to develop a test that reflects its own energy policy and therefore allow states to “test their tests” for energy efficiency program goals.
Prior to launching the NSPM project, the NESP worked with stakeholders across the U.S. to develop the Resource Value Framework (RVF), a set of principles that can be adopted by any state or jurisdiction seeking to ensure that its cost-effectiveness tests provide accurate, meaningful information to decision-makers and the general public.
The NSPM is designed to be the comprehensive manual that states can use to update and modernize their energy efficiency programs and apply the RVF. States collectively spend billions of dollars on energy efficiency programs, so the NSPM is a critical new tool to help state policymakers maximize the value of ratepayer and utility investments in energy efficiency.
The stakes for home performance contractors in cost effectiveness testing are very high. Many of the non-energy benefits that result from energy efficiency retrofits of existing homes are either ignored or steeply discounted by the tests applied in many states. Improvements in health, comfort, system reliability, as well as the benefits of avoided power plants, jobs created and pollution reductions are often ignored in some state cost effectiveness testing scenarios. That means that current cost effectiveness testing can inadvertently exclude some of the most impactful energy efficiency programs and policies from consideration.
Modernizing and reforming cost effectiveness testing has been a high priority for the Home Performance Coalition for several years. HPC will be helping a broad coalition of stakeholders promote the NSPM and educate state and local policymakers on the benefits of updating their cost effectiveness testing to better reflect their own state’s economic development, energy and environmental goals. Stay tuned for announcements on NSPM webinars, conferences and regional meetings in May, June and July, 2017 as the rollout of this new, innovative cost effectiveness testing framework gets underway.