In 2016, to increase the scale and comprehensiveness of energy efficiency and renewables projects needed to meet its Climate Action Plan in the home sector, Fort Collins created the Efficiency Works Neighborhood pilot program. Using focus groups, segmentation studies, and customer surveys, Fort Collins was able to identify barriers and benefits as they related to the implementation of home upgrades, informing the creation of a program geared towards increasing rates of participation, streamlining the upgrade process for homeowners, and making it possible to achieve higher energy savings. Program participants were selected based on their propensity for participation and contacted through targeted communications that carefully timed enrollment windows as to not overwhelm program staff and contractors. Once participants were enrolled in the program, Fort Collins offered a free, three-hour energy efficiency home assessment that was immediately followed by a recommendations package presentation. Post presentation, residents could select their preferred package option, then work with an appointed Energy Advisor to confirm package scope of work and pricing, sign necessary contract documents, and get work scheduled with a specialty contractor. Based on data collected from the gas utility on Efficiency Works Neighborhood households, the average deemed savings per home that had a project was 750 kWh of electricity plus 300 Therms of natural gas, for a total savings of 9,543 kWh / year / household. This represented a 70% increase in natural gas savings and a 50% increase in electricity savings per home, compared with the utility’s standard home energy program.
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