HPC Working For You Series: Engaging State Officials
HPC develops new approaches to federal, state and local policies that promote growth in the residential energy efficiency sector through research, education, and policy analysis. HPC works with stakeholders to resolve the most serious issues facing the residential energy efficiency industry and is a focal point for collaborative efforts on data standardization, program cost-effectiveness testing, weatherization, the valuation of home energy efficiency in the real estate market, and the integration of smart grid technology with residential building performance.
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On May 17, 2017, the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP) released its groundbreaking National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) on cost effectiveness testing. Because, states collectively spend more than $8 billion dollars on energy efficiency programs, the NSPM is a critical new tool to help state policymakers maximize the value of ratepayer and utility investments in energy efficiency. The NSPM framework allows each state to “test their tests” for cost effectiveness to see if it reflects its own energy efficiency policies and program goals.
For home performance contractors, the NSPM is a big deal. In many states, the “non-energy benefits” that result from energy efficiency retrofits of homes such as health, comfort, system reliability, the avoided costs of new power plants, jobs created and pollution reductions are often ignored or steeply discounted. Home performance contractors are unable to participate in retrofit programs that are denied funding because they are deemed not to be “cost effective” under an outdated state test. Having the right “test” on energy efficiency is particularly important in an era of dwindling state resources and budgets.
So, HPC has been working overtime to get the word out to state officials on the new, improved NSPM. Since May 17, 2017, HPC has partnered with Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations, NASEO and other organizations to maximize the number of states contacted. We’ve packed our bags and briefed:
- On May 22-23, 2017, HPC presented at the NASEO 2017 Northeast Regional Meeting – at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, Forest Center Building in Woodstock, VT. States Represented: NH, ME, VT, MA, CT, NY, RI
- On June 15, 2017, HPC served on a discussion panel at the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships - EM&V Forum Summer Workshop on Cost-Effectiveness Testing for Next Generation of EE in Hartford, CT. States Represented: VT, MA, CT, NY, RI
- On June 20-21, 2017, HPC presented at the NASEO Midwest Regional Meeting & MARC 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. States Represented: IL, MI, OH, IA, MN, WI, IN, MO
- On June 26-27, 2017, HPC presented at the NASEO Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting & MACRUC 22nd Annual Education Conference at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA. States Represented: PA, NJ, VA, Dist. Of Columbia, WV, MD, DE
- July 17, 2017: NARUC Summer Meeting Breakfast session; (San Diego, CA)
HPC is helping to coordinate a breakfast session and discussion of the NSPM for utility commissioners and their staffs from all 50 states.
HPC wants to make sure that the NSPM is not just a policy paper that sits on a shelf collecting dust. We are confident that state officials will embrace the new approaches and ideas in the NSPM. However, explaining what the NSPM is and how it works will take some time and many conversations. We are looking forward to moving those conversations south and west to more states later this Summer and in the Fall. Let us know about any good opportunities to come to your state and engage key policymakers in this critical conversation about energy efficiency funding and spending decisions.