Evaluation of the District of Columbia Energy Office Residential Conservation Assistance Program for Natural Gas-Heated Single-Family Homes

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At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with assistance from the District of Columbia Energy Office (DCEO) performed an evaluation of part of the DCEO Residential Conservation Assistance Program (RCAP). The primary objective of the evaluation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the DCEO weatherization program. Because Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds are used primarily for weatherization of single-family homes and because evaluating the performance of multi-family residences would be more complex than the project budget would support, ORNL and DCEO focused the study on gas-heated single-family homes. DCEO provided treatment information ... continued below

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McCold, Lance Neil & Schmoyer, Richard L March 1, 2007.

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At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with assistance from the District of Columbia Energy Office (DCEO) performed an evaluation of part of the DCEO Residential Conservation Assistance Program (RCAP). The primary objective of the evaluation was to evaluate the effectiveness of the DCEO weatherization program. Because Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds are used primarily for weatherization of single-family homes and because evaluating the performance of multi-family residences would be more complex than the project budget would support, ORNL and DCEO focused the study on gas-heated single-family homes. DCEO provided treatment information and arranged for the gas utility to provide billing data for 100 treatment houses and 434 control houses. The Princeton Scorkeeping Method (PRISM) software package was used to normalize energy use for standard weather conditions. The houses of the initial treatment group of 100 houses received over 450 measures costing a little over $180,000, including labor and materials. The average cost per house was $1,811 and the median cost per house was $1,674. Window replacement was the most common measure and accounted for about 35% of total expenditures. Ceiling and floor insulation was installed in 61 houses and accounts for almost 22% of the expenditures. Twenty-seven houses received replacement doors at an average cost of $620 per house. Eight houses received furnace or boiler replacements at an average cost of about $3,000 per house. The control-adjusted average measured savings are about 20 therms/year. The 95% confidence interval is approximately +20 to +60 therms/year. The average pre-weatherization energy consumption of the houses was about 1,100 therm/year. Consequently, the adjusted average savings is approximately 2% ({+-}4%)-not significantly different than zero. Most RCAP expenditures appear to go to repairs. While some repairs may have energy benefits, measures selected to meet repair needs generally have smaller energy benefits per unit cost than measures selected for energy conservation purposes. To the extent that extensive repairs are necessary or desirable, expectations of energy savings need to be adjusted. Since 2002, the DCEO has implemented a number of program improvements it believes enhance program performance. In 2003, DCEO published formal guidance for weatherization in RCAP (DCEO 2003). Consequently, the results of this study may not adequately represent the current performance of the program. DCEO should re-examine current RCAP weatherization patterns and energy savings to assess the effects of program changes.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-CON/500
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/931525 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 931525
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902014

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  • March 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 22, 2017, 2:16 p.m.

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McCold, Lance Neil & Schmoyer, Richard L. Evaluation of the District of Columbia Energy Office Residential Conservation Assistance Program for Natural Gas-Heated Single-Family Homes, report, March 1, 2007; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902014/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.