Presentation on theme: "Low-Income Energy Efficiency: Brantford Power’s Conserving Homes Program The History The Barriers The Benefits The Program The Results The Lessons Learned."— Presentation transcript:
Low-Income Energy Efficiency: Brantford Power’s Conserving Homes Program The History The Barriers The Benefits The Program The Results The Lessons Learned Discussion
The History In response to a May 31, 2004 Minister’s letter Brantford Power (BP) began to explore opportunities for providing an energy conservation program for its low-income customers Developed relationship with the Low Income Energy Network (LIEN) and provided input into LIEN’s program template Brantford Power then included the low- income pilot in its 2005 CDM Plan which was approved by the OEB
The Barriers 14.4% of Ontario’s population are already living at or below the “poverty line” meaning they lack the money to effectively participate in CDM/DSM programs Low-income households are harder to reach with energy efficiency programs and traditional low cost utility approaches such as rebate programs do not effective Due to pass through energy costs and split incentive, property managers and landlords are often resistant to investing in efficiency Tenants don’t own building or appliances and so have no incentive or authority to replace inefficient appliances or plug leaks in building envelope
The Barriers (2) Low-income customers typically live in older, drafty/poorly insulated buildings with inefficient appliances & heating system Most apartments do not have a thermostat in the suite so tenants cannot control heat nor can a programmable thermostat be installed Lack of capital to invest in insulation, new appliances
The Benefits Lower energy bills Reduce risk of homelessness Increase housing stability Improve quality of life Reduce demand for energy assistance Reduce pollution Reduce the need for new generation Reduce costs associated with emergency calls, late-payments, etc.
The Program - Collaboration Between Brantford Power, Share the Warmth & the Ontario Ministry of Energy
The Program - Objective Provide energy conservation measures & education to approximately 100 low-income households who pay their own electricity bills Target group: Approx 50 tenants & 50 homeowners Evaluate pilot success/lessons learned e.g. number of participants, energy savings, behavioral changes, capacity building Assess roll-out options Encourage others to get involved
The Program – Components First visit Home energy assessment Basic measures Education Second visit Follow-up visit Extended measures Education
The Program – Basic Measures Basic measures Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs “CFLs” Programmable thermostat Plug-in motion sensor nightlight * Water heater blanket & pipe-wrap Clothes line/rack
The Program – Deeper Measures Extended measures Energy Star ® fridge Energy Star ® room air conditioner Weatherization/building envelope
The Results To date the program has completed 73 home assessments impacting on 219 people Of the 73 households, 23 were homeowners and 50 were renters Average Income $1,013.75/month Average number of people per household is 3 Pilot not gas inclusive and all electrically heated homes had baseboard heaters, therefore no programmable thermostats were installed in any of the 73 homes 14 hot water jackets were installed 25 of the 73 households owned their fridges. To date 16 fridges have been replaced Initial TRC was negative due to a delay in starting the second phase deeper measures. Now that second phase is underway TRC will improve dramatically.
The Lessons Learned Much less complicated to deliver conservation programs to homeowners as applicant and homeowner are one in the same Majority of low-income households live in market rental accommodations. Unless building envelope or appliance replacement is provided, it is difficult to achieve meaningful savings and positive TRC results Difficult to identify low-income homeowners as opposed to low income renters Difficult to convince low-income households that participating in a conservation program because they a) do not believe that the program will have a meaningful impact on their lives b) believe that it will not ONLY benefit landlord c) do not see the value in a program that may not lower bill but may only prevent it from increasing.
Lessons Learned (2) Some low-income households do not want people entering their home and so do not sign up for programs that require home visits Language and cultural barriers mean that some low- income households are either uninformed about the existence of the program or misunderstand the program’s goals, eligibility criteria (to the benefit of the landlord only). Using straight LICO to screen applicants is too restrictive and means that few low-income households can participate. This is especially true of low-income homeowners. Need to look at 125% of LICO approach. Identifying electrically heated homes is challenging Need to increase the basic measures available to both tenants and homeowners to increase the value of the first visit as many will not be eligible for the 2 nd and 3 rd phase