Direct-Install Programs Gateway to Market Transformation

January/February 2014
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2014 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Energy Efficiency Programs
December 29, 2013
Like many states, Maryland has a home performance participation problem. Our residential energy efficiency program, EmPOWER Maryland, provides exceptional incentives to participate in home performance. However, fewer than 1% of eligible homes have participated. Our customers pay just $100 for a BPI-compliant home energy audit (the BPI-certified auditor receives $300 from the utility). Customers who proceed with improvements are eligible for 50% rebates up to $2,000 per home for air sealing and insulation enhancements. Since 2008, EmPOWER Maryland has completed 10,869 energy audits and 4,083 jobs statewide. In a state with 1.6 million single-family homes, we have barely scratched the surface. Members of Efficiency First—a national home performance trade association—from around the country are telling similar stories, and forcing us to ask, “Where are all the customers?”

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