Thermal Energy Efficiency in Residential and Community Buildings

High Meadows Fund-Sponsored Reports

  • December 2016 | Thermal Efficiency Financing Pilot Report | This report by the Vermont Department of Public Service, reviews the level of interest among low and moderate income VErmonters in thermal upgrades to their homes when provided with a low interest loan product supported by financial institutions and a network of service providers, including fuel dealers and efficiency contractors. HMF did not participate in this report, but we include it as a reference because we are interested in increasing the pace of home efficiency upgrades, especially in homes of lower income Vermonters.

  • March 2015 | Thermal Efficiency for Low-Income Households in Vermont | This paper, completed by the Regulatory Assistance Program with funding from High Meadows, seeks to characterize and quantify the multitude of benefits that are associated with investments in thermal energy efficiency initiatives, especially as they relate to reducing the burden on low-income households. This paper also offers promising pathways and a platform for capturing and delivering these benefits.

  • January 2015 | Vermont Law School Energy Burden Report | In this report, the Vermont Law School examines the energy burden in Vermont by household income. They calculate that about one in five Vermonters lives in fuel poverty, where their power and heat accounts for more than 10 percent of their monthly income. The report recommends public policy changes to address this challenge. High Meadows did not provide funding to complete this report, but it is particularly relevant to our mission.

  • November 2014 | High Performance Home - Market Research | High Meadows and Efficiency Vermont collaborated to fund two parallel sets of research into the potential market for high performance homes ("HPH") of modest size.  One set of research was conducted on Vermont’s market demographics. It identifies market conditions that inform efforts to promote HPH of modest size. The second set of research involved conversations with existing HPH owners and potential buyers. This work provides guidance as to what people value in these homes, what questions they have, and what characteristics of the homes should be emphasized. This joint report includes both sets of research, reports out the findings and conclusions from each separately, then presents a combined set of recommendations.

  • November 2014 | Thermal Efficiency Taskforce Update | Participants in the 2012 Thermal Efficiency Taskforce convened by the Vermont Department of Public Service spent a day learning about progress in thermal efficiency programming over the two years since the taskforce provided its report to the legislature. The link brings up a series of power point slides assembled for the day.

  • June 2014 | Efficiency Vermont's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program | This report is related to work funded by High Meadows to conduct market research and convene focus groups to explore the barriers and potential motivations behind the decision-making of single-family homeowners to complete retrofits. This report provides an overview and analysis of results and lessons learned under Efficiency Vermont's ENERGY STAR program, which seeks to harness energy efficiency as a driver of savings for consumers and economic development in Vermont.

  • April 2014 | Heating Efficiency Success Stories: Saving Money, Creating Jobs, Reducing Pollution | More and more Vermonters are reducing their energy bills - including high home heating costs - by investing in energy efficiency improvements. This publication, funded in part by the High Meadows Fund, "highlights some of the people who are reaping many benefits from those investments."

  • March 2014 | Qualitative Research Regarding Homeowner Confidence in Savings from Home Energy Efficiency Improvements Vermont is not on pace to meet its goals for improving the energy fitness of our homes. In 2012 and 2013, in collaboration with Efficiency Vermont, HMF commissioned market research and focus groups to understand what motivates or gets in the way of homeowners' deciding to retrofit their homes. The initial research surveyed 615 Vermont homeowners not known to have completed Home Performance with Energy Star or Vermont Gas Home Retrofit programs.

    Building on this research through focus groups, this second phase of the research examined homeowners' attitudes towards energy efficiency improvements in more depth, focusing in particular on measures that might increase their confidence that the improvements would reduce their energy bills.

  • December 2013 | Pathways to Clean Energy | As part of a previous grant, the Energy Action Network developed a scenario for achieving a renewable energy future, which concluded that in order for 80% of Vermont's energy needs to be met through efficiency and renewables by 2030, Vermont needs: 1) significant changes in how we live, work, and play; 2) immediate, comprehensive, and bold transportation and energy strategies statewide; 3) in excess of $28.7 billion in capital; and 4) the adoption of a strategic plan for economic and infrastructure development. This report refined this scenario for input into a dynamic energy model under development at the Gund Institute at UVM. The full-length report can be found here.
     
  • October 2013 | Manufactured Home Innovation Project Press Event | Check out articles and videos from a recent press event to unveil the first completed high-performance manufactured home as part of the Manufactured Home Innovation Project:
  • March 2013 | Manufactured Home Innovation Project | A report by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, in collaboration with 19 partners, with HMF support, examined the possibilities for replacing existing energy inefficient mobile homes with super energy efficient models. The project determined that such homes can be produced at a reasonable cost.
     
  • February 2013 | Market Research - Vermont Single Family Energy Efficiency Retrofit Market | GDS Associates, Inc. with Research Into Action, Inc. Prepared for High Meadows Fund in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Public Service and Efficiency Vermont.
     
  • February 2013 | Vermont Process Evaluation of Single Family Home Retrofit Services | GDS Associates, Inc. with Research Into Action, Inc. Prepared for the Department of Public Service, coordinated with market research above. 
     
  • October 2012 | Mobilizing Capital to Transform Vermont's Energy/Economy | Catalyst Financial Group, with support from High Meadows Fund.
     
  • May 2012 | Interviews with Vermont Home Performance Contractors and Fuel Dealers: Key Players in Vermont's Energy Future | Richard Faesy (Energy Futures Group) and Chris Granda (Grasteu Associates), with funding from High Meadows.
     
  • August 2011 | Affordable Heat - A Roadmap for Vermont | Regulatory Assistance Project, with funding from High Meadows (or read the Executive Summary).
     
  • July 2011 | Home Energy Efficiency Financing Executive Summary | Vermont Law School, with funding from High Meadows.

Thermal Energy Efficiency Resources