HPC manages several research and data standards projects that seek to strengthen the residential energy efficiency industry and make it profitable for contractors and other businesses to perform energy efficiency upgrades. We do this by partnering with industry, government, and other nonprofit organizations to identify and address market barriers to industry growth, including:
- High internal and transactional costs associated with efficiency program implementation and evaluation;
- Limited homeowner access to energy usage and consumption data; and
- Lack of empirical data on building and measure performance
Below is a brief overview of our project areas and how they address these barriers, with links to more information.
HPXML Data Standards
HPC is driving data standardization in the industry by leading the development and maintenance of several residential energy efficiency data standards including the HPXML Data Dictionary and the HPXML Transfer Standard. These open data standards were created to facilitate the communication and exchange of information among stakeholders in the residential energy efficiency industry, and are helping businesses and efficiency programs operate more efficiently, increase productivity, and access new markets.
Valuing Home Energy Efficiency
As consumer interest in energy efficiency as a valued feature of residential properties grows, several states have responded by making information about energy efficiency readily available for property listings. HPC works with partners of DOE's Home Energy Information Accelerator to make efficiency improvements visible in the real estate transaction through the creation of standardized datasets and transfer protocols. When information about energy efficiency improvements is visible to home buyers and others involved in the home sale transaction, these improvements are more likely to be fairly valued at the time an existing home is sold.
Smart Home Performance
Smart home technologies, like Home Energy Management Systems, are becoming increasingly valuable tools to help customers and utilities manage energy demand and identify high energy users. HPC works with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, energy efficiency programs, and product manufacturers to integrate smart home technologies into existing and new programs.
Reforming Cost-Effectiveness Testing
On May 18, 2017, the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP) released its groundbreaking National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) on cost effectiveness testing. States collectively spend more than $8 billion on energy efficiency programs, so the NSPM is a critical new tool to help state policymakers maximize the value of ratepayer and utility investments (and returns) on energy efficiency. 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. State energy stakeholders are particularly interested in the NSPM because it will allow each state to develop a test that reflects its own energy policies and therefore allow them to “test their tests” for energy efficiency program goals.