Audits and Retrofits
A recent example of a ConSol-managed home audit program is the Home Energy Tune-Up (HETU) program, which offered a no-cost home energy assessment and reporting service. The program started in July 2011 in Fresno, California and was quickly expanded to residents in eight counties (Fresno, Kings, Kern, Tulare, Madera, Stanislaus, Merced, and San Joaquin) given its initial success. From 2011 through 2017, ConSol completed more than 24,000 home energy audits with an estimated savings of over 8 million kWh, 150,000 therms, and a reduction of 2,706 tons of greenhouse gasses. The program started with an audit rate of 25 homes per month. Over the next two years, ConSol scaled the program to 450 audits per month.
For each HETU assessment, ConSol produced and delivered a customized home owner energy performance report that assisted home owners with understanding how their home was performing from an energy efficiency perspective, what cost-effective retrofit options they could pursue, and what rebate/financing alternatives were available to help fund a residential retrofit. As the project administrator for the HETU program, ConSol led a team that included representatives from PG&E, the city of Fresno, and various installation subcontractors.
The commercial counterpart to HETU, Fresno’s Building Energy Tune-Up (BETU) program has audited approximately 6 million square feet of commercial space, ranging from office to retail to food processing facilities.
ConSol also managed the Neighborhood Retrofit Program for SMUD, Sacramento’s local utility provider. The Neighborhood Retrofit Program was a simple, low-cost, retrofit program that offered bulk discounts through the use of predetermined home energy improvement packages. The packages were developed based on market analysis of specific neighborhood characteristics, which were gathered through an outreach program and HERS II energy audits of a small sample of volunteer neighborhood homes, in order to create a baseline model of the selected neighborhood’s housing stock. ConSol used audits to model the energy saving impacts of the improvements which were then used to create cost-effective packages for home owners. ConSol selected qualified contractors to perform the work and provided additional Quality Assurance services for the overall program. This pilot program delivered savings in excess of stated goals, and was highlighted as the most successful program of its type in an evaluation of statewide ARRA-funded pilot programs.