Nonenergy Benefits from the Weatherization Assistance Program: A Summary of Findings from the Recent Literature

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The purpose of this project is to summarize findings reported in the recent literature on nonenergy benefits attributable to the weatherizing of low income homes. This study is a follow-up to the seminal research conducted on the nonenergy benefits attributable to the Department of Energy's national Weatherization Assistance Program by Brown et al. (1993). For this review, nonenergy benefits were broken into three major categories: (1) ratepayer benefits; (2) household benefits; and (3) societal benefits. The ratepayer benefits can be divided into two main subcategories: payment-related benefits and service provision benefits. Similarly, there are two key types of household benefits: ... continued below

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41 pages

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Schweitzer, M. April 25, 2002.

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Description

The purpose of this project is to summarize findings reported in the recent literature on nonenergy benefits attributable to the weatherizing of low income homes. This study is a follow-up to the seminal research conducted on the nonenergy benefits attributable to the Department of Energy's national Weatherization Assistance Program by Brown et al. (1993). For this review, nonenergy benefits were broken into three major categories: (1) ratepayer benefits; (2) household benefits; and (3) societal benefits. The ratepayer benefits can be divided into two main subcategories: payment-related benefits and service provision benefits. Similarly, there are two key types of household benefits: those associated with affordable housing and those related to safety, health, and comfort. Societal benefits can be classified as either environmental, social, or economic. Fig. E.S. 1 presents point estimates of the average lifetime monetary value per weatherized home resulting from low income weatherization programs for the key benefit types listed above. These benefits represent net present value estimates (i.e., estimates of the current worth of all benefits expected over the lifetime of the weatherization measures), assuming a 20-year lifetime for installed energy efficiency measures and a 3.2% discount rate. Overall, societal benefits are estimated to be substantially larger than ratepayer and household benefits. Ranges for the societal benefits are also much greater than for the other two categories of nonenergy benefits. The total monetized value for all nonenergy benefit categories associated with weatherizing a home is estimated to be $3346, in 2001 dollars. This represents a national average which, like any point estimate, has considerable uncertainty associated with it. This figure is substantially higher than the total value of nonenergy benefits presented a decade ago in the national weatherization evaluation (Brown et al. 1993) because the current study quantified a much broader array of benefits than did the earlier work. The net present value of $3346 for all nonenergy benefits is slightly greater than the average net present value of energy savings for houses heated by natural gas, which is $3174 in 2001 dollars. In comparison, the average total cost per weatherization is $1779, also in 2001 dollars. The ''societal'' benefit/cost ratio, which compares all benefits to all costs, is approximately 3.7. Low and high values for the societal benefit/cost ratio, using low and high nonenergy benefit estimates, are 2.0 and 52.5, respectively. It should be noted that the total monetized nonenergy benefit estimate is lower than it could be because the estimate does not contain some benefits that have not been expressed in monetary terms.

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41 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 25 Apr 2002

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  • Report No.: ORNL/CON-484
  • Grant Number: AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/814309 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 814309
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc737421

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • April 25, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • March 31, 2016, 1:22 p.m.

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Schweitzer, M. Nonenergy Benefits from the Weatherization Assistance Program: A Summary of Findings from the Recent Literature, report, April 25, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc737421/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.