The North Carolina Field Test: Field Performance of the Preliminary Version of an Advanced Weatherization Audit for the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program

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The field performance of weatherizations based on a newly-developed advanced technique for selecting residential energy conservation measures was tested alongside current Retro-Tech-based weatherizations in North Carolina. The new technique is computer-based and determines measures based on the needs of an individual house. In addition, it recommends only those measures that it determines will have a benefit-to-cost ratio greater than 1 for the house being evaluated. The new technique also considers the interaction of measures in computing the benefit-to-cost ratio of each measure. The two weatherization approaches were compared based on implementation ease, measures installed, labor and cost requirements, and both ... continued below

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134 pages

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Sharp, T.R. January 1, 1994.

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Description

The field performance of weatherizations based on a newly-developed advanced technique for selecting residential energy conservation measures was tested alongside current Retro-Tech-based weatherizations in North Carolina. The new technique is computer-based and determines measures based on the needs of an individual house. In addition, it recommends only those measures that it determines will have a benefit-to-cost ratio greater than 1 for the house being evaluated. The new technique also considers the interaction of measures in computing the benefit-to-cost ratio of each measure. The two weatherization approaches were compared based on implementation ease, measures installed, labor and cost requirements, and both heating and cooling energy savings achieved. One-hundred and twenty houses with the following characteristics participated: the occupants were low-income, eligible for North Carolina's current weatherization program, and responsible for their own fuel and electric bills. Houses were detached single-family dwellings, not mobile homes; were heated by kerosene, fuel oil, natural gas, or propane; and had one or two operating window air conditioners. Houses were divided equally into one control group and two weatherization groups. Weekly space heating and cooling energy use, and hourly indoor and outdoor temperatures were monitored between November 1989 and September 1990 (pre-period) and between December 1990 and August 1991 (post-period). House consumption models were used to normalize for annual weather differences and a 68 F indoor temperature. Control group savings were used to adjust the savings determined for the weatherization groups. The two weatherization approaches involved installing attic and floor insulations in near equivalent quantities, and installing storm windows and wall insulation in drastically different quantities. Substantial differences also were found in average air leakage reductions for the two weatherization groups. Average, weather-normalized heating and cooling energy savings were 33 and 18%, respectively, for weatherizations where the new technique was used, and 23 and 3% for Retro-Tech-based weatherizations. Weatherizations using the new technique achieved 43% more heating energy savings and substantially more cooling energy savings; they cost around 10% less at two agencies and considerably more at the third; and they were nearly equivalent in labor requirements. The following major conclusions were drawn from the study: (1) The advanced audit significantly increased heating energy savings. (2) Heating energy savings of around 33% were achieved using the advanced audit with blower-door-directed air sealing. (3) The advanced audit appeared to increase cooling energy savings, although wide variances occurred. (4) As tested in North Carolina, the advanced audit overpredicted heating energy consumption and savings for houses with high heating loads. (5) The advanced audit did not increase weatherization costs and actually lowered costs for two of three weatherization agencies. (6) The advanced audit recommended some measures in near identical quantities to Retro-Tech-based weatherizations and others in dramatically different quantities. (7) Blower-door-directed air sealing more than doubled the air leakage reductions achieved from standard air sealing techniques. (8) Low-income houses in North Carolina had much higher average leakage rates than similar New York houses but were sealed as well or better.

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134 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jan 1994

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  • Report No.: ORNL/CON-362
  • Grant Number: AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/814050 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 814050
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc736554

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  • January 1, 1994

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • March 31, 2016, 1:22 p.m.

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Sharp, T.R. The North Carolina Field Test: Field Performance of the Preliminary Version of an Advanced Weatherization Audit for the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program, report, January 1, 1994; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc736554/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.