Low-Income Energy Efficiency Resources
This page serves as a home for the "Single & Multifamily Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program Resource Manual," which is a working product of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) convened Single & Multifamily Low-Income Energy Efficiency Exchange Group. Much of the content found in the manual was provided by members of the stakeholder group to aid in the creation and expansion of low-income resident-based energy efficiency (EE) programs in Tennessee. Please note that the manual, originally published in 2018, is currently undergoing update; TDEC expects to publish the next edition of the manual during the summer of 2020.
The Single & Multifamily Low-Income Energy Efficiency Exchange Group was formed by TDEC in December 2015 and met regularly through the end of 2017 to share best practices regarding single and multifamily low-income energy efficiency exchange programming efforts in Tennessee; to leverage existing technical and financial resources to further design, implementation, and administration of energy efficiency programming targeting low-income single and multifamily audiences; and to explore opportunities to develop resources that can assist with implementation of energy efficiency programming targeting low-income single and multifamily stakeholders. While the group no longer convenes on a recurring basis, participants are encouraged to continue the exchange of best practices.
Low-Income Energy Efficiency Resource Map
The online resource map correlates the 22 electric cooperative territories of Tennessee with various EE and low-income service providers and other community resources in each co-op region. The map has approximately 2,000 color coded “pins,” each denoting a program related asset—contractors, vendors, community centers, libraries, nonprofits, and co-ops.
The Single & Multifamily Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program Resource Manual provides a framework for designing, implementing, and evaluating key elements of low-income focused EE programming. The manual is accompanied by extensive resource annotations and an online asset map and is organized by the three main phases of developing a low-income energy efficiency program (as shown).
Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program Phases
This section enumerates the primary concerns in developing single and multifamily low-income EE programming. Of particular concern are fundamental considerations for program design and techniques and discussion on the considerable benefits of community engagement and public participation. Finally, basic program structuring, including funding mechanisms, are provided in the last portion of Phase One, which are accompanied by examples of existing low-income EE programs. These examples can serve as a reference for how to build or enhance programs.
Phase Two of the manual discusses opportunities for launching, expanding and supporting a more effective single and multifamily low-income EE program. Tools presented in this section range from auditing and homeowner educational resources, to Do-it-Yourself (DIY) workshop resources, to outreach methods. This section also discusses the benefits of a well-trained workforce and techniques for measuring and verifying EE upgrades.
Evaluating Program Success
Phase Three of the manual discusses the importance of evaluating EE programming to document and measure its effects and to support targeted growth and improvement. This section borrows from the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network report “Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide” and offers considerations for developing an evaluation program.