State and Local Policy Database

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

 Alabama Power is currently running a low-income pilot but has not established a sustained low-income energy efficiency program.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: June 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Federal funding for weatherization efforts in Alaska is supplemented by financial investment from the state, utilities, and other organizations. The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) has administered the federal Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) since 1992. Funding is prioritized for low-income seniors and families with disabilities or young children in their home. In FY16 $7.4 million was distributed to 16 service providers statewide who, with the use of local hires, weatherized 100 units out of 395 granted. No specific required spending or savings requirements for utility programs identified. Utilities generally do not administer separate low-income energy efficiency programs. However utility funding is used to supplement the programs described above.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

 

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

 

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified. In 2010, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) ordered in Decision 71819 that each investor-owned utility must achieve cumulative annual electricity savings of at least 22% of its retail electric sales in calendar year 2019 through cost-effective energy efficiency programs. The decision ordered that utilities “…allocate a portion of DSM resources specifically to low-income customers,” but does not identify a minimum spending level.

Utility funds dedicated to weatherization, in addition to DOE funds for weatherization, are managed by the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH).

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Since 2011 Arizona Administrative Code Title 14, Chapter 2, Article 24 (R14-2-2412) has directed that “…an affected utility’s low-income customer program portfolio shall be cost-effective, but costs attributable to necessary health and safety measures shall not be used in the calculation.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Following unsuccessful attempts in the early 2000s to create a low-income weatherization program, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the Arkansas Weatherization Program (AWP) in 2007 in Order No. 4 in Docket No. 07-079-TF, as a Quick Start program. In February 2010, the PSC approved AWP to run through June 2011 and subsequent orders have extended AWP through 2018. In 2014, in response to a proposal to develop a consistent approach for weatherization programs across all Arkansas utilities, the PSC approved a uniform weatherization program in PSC Docket 13-002-U, Order No. 22 at 11.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Arkansas does not require program-level cost-effectiveness for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

AWP funds from utilities are administered in conjunction with US DOE WAP funds. The provider installs the approved measures in the home. Part of the cost of the audit and installation is covered by the customer’s AWP utility, and the balance is the responsibility (co-payment) of the customer. Customers eligible for the DOE WAP have their co-payment covered by that federal program.

Last updated: June 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

California’s Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, first adopted in 2008 and updated in 2011, establishes a goal for the Commission's Energy Savings Assistance Program that by 2020 100% of eligible and willing customers will have received all cost-effective low-income energy efficiency measures.

The Commission’s Energy Savings Assistance Program installs weatherization and energy efficiency measures, provides minor home repairs, and energy education at no cost to income eligible program participants.  Income eligibility for the Energy Savings Assistance Program is set at 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Guideline.  The program is funded by ratepayers as part of a statutory public purpose program surcharge that appears on monthly utility bills, with the goal to reduce energy consumption, resulting in bill savings, while also increasing the health, comfort, and/or safety of the household.

Public Utility Code Section 2790 requires an electrical or gas corporation to perform home weatherization services for low income customers. A utility must balance the cost effectiveness of the weatherization services and the policy of reducing the hardships facing low income households.   It is set in code that by 2020, 100% of all eligible and willing low income customers will be given the opportunity to participate in the program.  An ongoing aspiration for the program is that it will be an energy resource by delivering increasingly cost-effective and longer-term savings to participants.  For each budget cycle, the California Public Utilities Commission establishes program funding, energy savings targets and household treatment/participation goals for each utility through a Decision.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Currently California applies the Energy Savings Assistance Program Cost Effectiveness test (ESACET) and the Resource Total Resource Cost test to the low income program.   These tests incorporate non-energy benefits and are related to the social goal of providing equitable demand-side management (DSM) treatment to the portion of the California housing stock in which low-income customers reside. These two tests are used for information purposes only, with no set threshold. 

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with the California Department of Community Services & Development's Low-Income Programs

The California Department of Community Services & Development (CSD) administers the Low‐Income Weatherization Program (LIWP), which installs solar photovoltaics, solar hot water heaters, and energy efficiency measures in low‐income single family and multi‐family dwellings in low income communities to reduce GHG emissions and save energy. LIWP is funded through AB 32 cap-and-trade auction revenues and was allocated a total of $154 million in the 2014–15 and 2015–16 state budgets. Decision 16-11-022 directed the large investor owned utilities to work with the Community Services and Development ’s low income weatherization programs on various fronts including setting up a data sharing plan, as well as establishing a  referral process between the ESA Program and CSD’s program for identified customers with high energy burden and non‑IOU fuel sources.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with SB350

SB 350 was passed in 2015 establishing annual savings targets to achieve a cumulative doubling of statewide energy efficiency savings by 2030. The bill mentions no specific low-income energy efficiency targets, but directs the California Energy Commission to publish a study on barriers for low-income customers to energy efficiency and weatherization investments, including those in disadvantaged communities, as well as recommendations on how to increase access to energy efficiency and weatherization investments for low-income customers.

Last updated: June 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific level of spending is required, although utilities and the state offer a variety of low-income programs.

In 2007, the Colorado General Assembly passed HB 1037, which in addition to establishing energy savings goals for utilities also instructed them to make sure that low-income customers had access to DSM programs. This was codified in Colorado statute 40-3.2.104, which directs utilities to provide funding for low-income energy-assistance programs such as bill assistance and weatherization through the assessment of a public benefits charge.

This funding is administered by the Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation (now Energy Outreach Colorado), created under section 40-8.5-104. Energy Outreach Colorado is required to file a report with the commission annually showing amounts of money collected under the public benefits charge and demonstrating that the funds were used towards low-income energy bill payment assistance and energy efficiency improvements for affordable housing and non-profit facilities.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Decision No. C08-0560 directs the Colorado Public Service Commission to pursue all cost-effective low-income DSM programs, “but to not forego DSM programs simply because they do not pass a 1.0 TRC test.” It also directs that, in applying the TRC to low-income DSM programs, “the benefits included in the calculation shall be increased by 20%, to reflect the higher level of non-energy benefits that are likely to accrue from DSM services to low-income customers.”

To avoid unintended impacts to calculations of benefits pursuant to performance incentives, the decision also allows utilities to exclude these costs in these determinations: “To address this concern we find that the costs and benefits associated with any low-income DSM program that is approved and has a TRC below 1.0 may be excluded from the calculation of net economic benefits. Further, the energy and demand savings may be applied toward the calculation of overall energy and demand savings, for purposes of determining progress toward annual goals.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Colorado Commission on Low-Income Energy Assistance is responsible for coordinating the state’s low-income energy assistance services pursuant to C.R.S.§ 40-8.5-103.5 and Executive Order D 026 07. Many Colorado utilities have decided to enter into agreements with the Colorado Energy Office, the federal Weatherization Assistance Program grantee, and/or non-profits like Energy Outreach Colorado or community action agencies. In these instances, the funds generated by monthly surcharges are given to these other entities to provide services to the utility’s low-income customers.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In CT utilities are required to allocate the limited income budgets in parity with the revenues that are expected to be collected from that sector. Per Public Act 11-80, Section 33, CT establishes a goal of weatherizing 80% of homes.  This goal is not specific to Low Income, but activity in the Low Income program helps the companies achieve this goal.   Also, as part of the Performance Management Incentive (PMI) calculation, the Utilities are required to spend at least 95% of the Low Income budget.  There are also electric, natural gas, oil and propane savings metrics that fall under the Low Income program attached to the PMI calculation.

In addition, the Department of Economic and Community Development operates the Energy Conservation Loan (ECL) program for low- and moderate-income households based on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s standard of 200% of area median income.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Connecticut has established formal rules and procedures for evaluation, which are stated in Public Act 11-80 and Evaluation Rules and Roadmap. The Program Administrator test has been the primary cost-effectiveness test in Connecticut. However the Total Resource Cost (TRC) test is the primary test only for the Home Energy Solutions Limited-Income program. Connecticut regulators have repeatedly approved non-cost-effective low-income programs, however no explicit adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs. More information regarding cost-benefit screening of efficiency programs in Connecticut can be found in Chapter 7 of the 2016-2018 Electric and Natural Gas Conservation & Load Management Plan.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) administers the US DOE Weatherization Assistance Program in addition to making policy decisions regarding the ratepayer-funded and utility-administered residential low-income energy program known as Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible (HES-IE). The HES-IE program serves the same population as WAP in Connecticut and currently cost shares many measures reported on DOE WAP units. The alignment of the HES-IE program with WAP is a goal of the department to ensure the best quality service for the low-income population. WAP administrative policies and procedures are outlined in Section 100 of the Connecticut Weatherization Assistance Program Operations Manual, which is regularly updated and publicly available online at DEEP’s web page.

Last updated: June 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Delaware established legislative energy savings targets in 2009 with the adoption of SB 106, although these have yet to be implemented. The legislation sets up a Sustainable Energy Trust Fund to collect charges assessed by energy providers in service of energy savings goals. SB 106 specifies that 20% of assessment be provided to the Weatherization Assistance Program.

Electric utility restructuring legislation passed in 1999 specifies that Delmarva Power and Light collect  0.095 mills/kWh (approximately $800,000 annually) from customers to be forwarded to the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of State Service Centers to be used to fund low-income fuel assistance and weatherization programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In 2016, the Evaluation, Verification, & Measurement subcommittee of the EEAC reviewed net-to-gross ratios, avoided costs, and net environmental impacts for low-income energy customers. The EM&V Committee recommended a proposed net-to-gross ratio for low-income programs to be 1. This includes income-eligible HES, low-income multi-family, and low-income new construction programs.

The EM&V Committee in 2016 recommended specific net-energy impacts, or net-energy benefits for low-income programs. These net-energy benefits include weatherization reduced arrearages and participant health and safety benefits. Specific values were also applied to net-energy benefits and are locked in for three years. These net-energy benefits were unanimously recognized and approved by the EEAC.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) administers federal weatherization funds, which are coordinated and joined with federal LIHEAP block grant, state utility funds, and funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The Low-Income Energy Efficiency Committee of the EEAC began meeting in 2016 with a purpose to develop cost-effective low-income programs to submit before the EEAC. It is made up of stakeholders from the EEAC, utility representatives, state agencies, community action agencies, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and community foundations. In an effort to better serve the low-income population in the state, the committee was tasked with identifying existing services that provide funding for affordable housing. Some of the existing programs identified include the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), SHARING Fund, Beat the Peak, and Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star.

To make low-income energy efficiency programs more accessible, a Guidance Document was drafted in 2016 as part of the merger settlements approved by the PSC between Exelon and Delmarva Power and Light to allocate $4,000,000 of the funds towards low-income customer energy efficiency programs. This Guidance Document applies to DPL customers and funds are available to support organizations delivering energy efficiency programs to low-income rate payers. Organizations that receive grants to run low-income energy efficiency programs will increase energy efficiency measures for low-income Delaware households, increase statewide electric and gas savings, engage and inform low-income households about the benefits of energy efficiency, develop a community-based approach to address energy efficiency issues in low-income housing by mobilizing public and private sector resources, and ensure the greatest extent feasible that job training, employment, and contracting generated by this grant will be directed to low-income persons. All settlement-funded low-income programs must be officially recommended by the EEAC and approved by the PSC.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The DC Council adopted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act (CAEA) of 2008 effective October 1, 2008, which authorizes the Energy Office to contract with a DC “Sustainable Energy Utility” (SEU) for the implementation of energy efficiency programs. The legislation also established a separate Energy Assistance Trust Fund (EATF) to be used solely to fund: “(1) the existing low-income programs in the amount of $3.3 million annually; and (2) the Residential Aid Discount subsidy in the amount of $3 million annually.” Sec. 201 of the legislation specifies that the contract with DC SEU shall “improve the energy efficiency of low-income housing in the District of Columbia.”

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

While no specific rules are in place for low-income programs, programs that are not cost effective may be included in DCSEU’s portfolio as long as the overall portfolio is cost effective based on the societal cost test. A 10% adder is applied to program benefits to account for additional non-energy benefits including comfort, noise reduction, aesthetics, health and safety, ease of selling/leasing home or building, improved occupant productivity, reduced work absences due to reduced illnesses, ability to stay in home/avoid moves, and macroeconomic benefits.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The federal Weatherization Assistance Program is administered by the Department of Energy & Environment’s Energy Administration Energy Efficiency and Conservation Branch (EECB), which leverages 15% of its WAP grant to seek additional funds from the DC SEU and local District General Funds, to supplement WAP and increase the number of homes to be weatherized.

Last updated: June 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Utilities are required to offer specific income-qualified energy efficiency programs, but no mandated level of spending/savings has been established. The Commission, in Order PSC-14-0696-FOF-EU, directed the FEECA utilities to educate low-income customers on energy efficiency opportunities. The Order requires each utility to assist and educate low-income customers, specifically with respect to measures that have less than a two-year payback. Utility DSM Plans in Dockets 150081, 150083, and 150085-150089-EI provide each company's plan to education low-income customers on energy efficiency and conservation.

In 1992, the Florida legislature passed the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Act, which required funding to be set aside from a portion of documentary stamp taxes on deeds to support two programs that supplement the state’s WAP program. These programs include the State Housing Initiatives Partnership, which funds weatherization measures, and the Low-Income Emergency Home Repair Program, which funds emergency and energy-related home repairs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Program-level cost-effectiveness is not required, although the majority of IOU-administered low-income programs in Florida pass both the TRC and RIM cost-effectiveness tests. 

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: June 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Although no minimum spending or saving requirements are in place for low-income programs, in proceedings for Georgia Power’s 2016 Integrated Resource Plan, GPC agreed to designate $1 million annually from the existing $2 million Low-Income Weatherization budget for spending on multifamily low-income households and to reserve $500,000 in the Home Energy Improvement Program in the annual budget for multifamily low-income customers.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No explicit adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs though they are exempted in practice.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Low-Income program is administered solely by GPC, though individual projects may receive funding from various sources.

Last updated: August 2017

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In October 2012, PUC staff issued its draft report on low income weatherization and energy conservation education programs. In this report, the staff recommended criteria for how to evaluate requests for more weatherization funding. The staff also provided recommendations and comments on changes utilities could make regarding cost-effective calculations and procedures, some of which included the calculation of non-energy benefits.

 In April 2013, the PUC largely adopted the staff’s recommendations regarding methodology for evaluating LIWAP and the criteria for increased funding in Order No. 32788, Case No. GNR-E-12-01. The PUC encourages utilities to include non-energy benefits of LIWAPs when calculating cost effectiveness, but currently declines to construct a specific cost-effectiveness test for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Welfare, administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance and Weatherization Programs in Idaho. The division subcontracts with the Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho (CAPAI) to provide weatherization, energy assistance, and community services block-grant services to low-income participants in Idaho. Utilities such as Idaho Power also offer weatherization assistance in conjunction with the state’s WAP program through ratepayer-funded Weatherization Assistance for Qualifying Customers (WAQC) program, which provides supplementary funding to CAP agencies for weatherization.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In December 2016, the Illinois State Legislature passed the Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814). The legislation directs utilities to implement low-income energy efficiency measures of no less than $25 million per year for electric utilities that serve more than 3 million retail customers in the state (ComEd), and no less than $8.35 million per year for electric utilities that serve less than 3 million but more than 500,000 retail customers in the state (Ameren).

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Section 8-103B (Energy Efficiency and Demand-Response Measures) of SB 2814 excludes low-income energy efficiency measures from the need to satisfy the total resource cost-effectiveness (TRC) test: “The low-income measures described in subsection (c) of this Section shall not be required to meet the total resource cost test.”

Coordination of Low-Income and WAP Services

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is responsible for administering the state’s allocation of DOE weatherization funds. In Illinois, the weatherization program is called the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP). IHWAP provides Illinois’ low-income residents with the labor and materials needed to weatherize their homes and is funded by three sources: DOE WAP funding, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Block Grant funds from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the state’s Supplemental Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund (from the monthly Low-Income Energy Assistance Charge assessed by electric and gas utilities).

Last updated: June 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Before Senate Bill 340 terminated Energizing Indiana and the state’s utility energy efficiency targets, five utilities and the Indiana Municipal Power Agency had offered an Income-Qualified Weatherization Program through Energizing Indiana. This has since been discontinued, though many of these utilities now operate their own low-income energy efficiency programs.

There is currently no minimum spending or savings requirement in place for low-income programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Under Senate Bill 412 and Indiana Code 8-1-8.5-10(h) an electricity supplier may submit its energy efficiency plan to the commission for a determination of the overall reasonableness of the plan either as part of a general basic rate proceeding or as an independent proceeding. A petition submitted may include a home energy efficiency assistance program for qualified customers of the electricity supplier whether or not the program is cost effective.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: August 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Senate Bill 2386, passed in 2008, directed natural gas and electric municipal and rural electric cooperative utilities to establish energy efficiency goals. Though no specific set aside was identified for low-income customers, Black Hills Energy, Mid-American Energy Company, Liberty Utilities, and Interstate Power and Light all provide a variety of weatherization measures for low-income customers.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

According to IAC 199 - 35.8(2), “Low-income and tree-planting programs shall not be tested for cost-effectiveness, unless the utility wishes to present the results of cost-effectiveness tests for informational purposes.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

IPL, Black Hills Energy, and MidAmerican Energy jointly implement the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) through the Iowa Utility Association (IUA). The utilities contribute program funding through the Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR). These funds reimburse Community Action Program (CAP) agencies for the costs of performing energy assessments and purchasing and installing qualifying energy efficiency measures in residences occupied by low-income families. WAP is available to homeowners and renters whose income level is at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Homes occupied by the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and families with children under the age of six are prioritized for weatherization assistance, as are households with high usage. CAP agencies market and deliver the program to low-income customers, and the DHR's Division of Community Action Agencies (DCAA) administers the program.

The Iowa Division of Community Action Agencies (DCAA), in coordination with investor-owned utilities, conducts and publishes an annual evaluation of the Iowa Weatherization Program. The performance assessment is used to determine technical assistance and training needs.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In 1994, Kentucky passed its DSM Statute (KRS 278.285), which allows utilities to propose and the PSC to review DSM programs aimed at reducing their customers’ energy use through efficiency and load management. However the statute does not specifically address low-income programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Requirements for low-income programming are similar to those governing other programmatic offerings, and these were established by precedent in a 1997 proceeding surrounding the approval of LG&E’s DSM program portfolio. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Case No. 1997-083. These benefit-cost tests are required for total program level screening, with exceptions for low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies. The commission also found in Case No. 97-083 that “If [a] filing fails any of the traditional [cost-effectiveness] tests, LG&E and its Collaborative may submit additional documentation to justify the need for the program.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

 

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) approved final energy efficiency rules in 2013 in LPSC General Order dated January 10, 2013 (Docket R-31106), however these did not address specific requirements for low-income programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

In its original Quick Start portfolio filing, Entergy submitted an income-qualified program that did not pass TRC on the basis of its overall value, as well as its role in allowing low-income customers to participate in Quick Start programs that might otherwise be inaccessible. Commission staff expressed concern surrounding this program and they suggested that Entergy consider removing it, which led to Entergy adjusting the program to meet TRC test requirements, amending its program plan, and ultimately receiving commission approval.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

LD-1559, passed in June 2013, states that Efficiency Maine Trust shall “target at least 10% of funds for electricity conservation collected under subsection 4 or 4-A or $2,600,000, whichever is greater, to programs for low-income residential consumers, as defined by the board by rule.” Efficiency Maine Trust is the independent administrator for energy efficiency and alternative energy resources programs in Maine and is funded primarily by electric and natural gas utilities, as well as the sale of carbon allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Efficiency Maine Trust delivers energy-saving opportunities to low-income (LIHEAP-eligible) customers through four initiatives: consumer products (rebates and markdowns), HESP (weatherization and heating systems), food pantry light bulb distribution, and supplementation of Community Action Agency direct installation initiatives.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Maine does not have specific cost-effectiveness guidelines in place for low-income programs. However, the cost-effectiveness test for all programs requires consideration of non-energy benefits including “…reduced operations and maintenance costs, job training opportunities and workforce development, general economic development and environmental benefits, to the extent that such benefits can be accurately and reasonably quantified and attributed to the program or project.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Maine State Housing Authority administers the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) for the state. State regulations require the Housing Authority to ensure effective coordination of WAP with the Housing Authority’s Central Heating Improvement Program (CHIP)—which finances energy-related repairs for low-income homeowners—as well as with other bill assistance programs. 2009 Public Law Chapter 372 requires that the Housing Authority must also coordinate WAP plans and use of federal DOE funds with the programs administered by Efficiency Maine Trust.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The EmPOWER Act of 2008 required all utility plans to address low-income communities. From 2009 through the end of the second quarter of 2012, the electric utilities (BGE, DPL, PE, Pepco, and SMECO) all implemented their own limited-income programs through their residential programs. In 2012, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development ("DHCD") became the sole implementer of limited income programs across Maryland in compliance with Order No 84569. In 2017, SB 184 continued the requirement for limited income energy efficiency programs started under the EmPOWER Act of 2008.

Order No. 87082, issued in July 2015, directed the Limited-Income Work Group to consider and develop a recommended post-2015 goal for the EmPOWER limited-income programs no later than February 1, 2016.

In February 2016, the Work Group released a summary report, but they did not come to a consensus on one recommendation. Rather, the report provided recommendations based upon agreement on certain points among various stakeholders, such as customer eligibility and overlaps between electric and natural gas utility service territories.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In Order No. 87082 the PUC requires cost-effectiveness screening for limited-income programs, but indicated the programs may still be implemented without satisfying the test, stating:

 “We accept the recommendation of the Coalition that, while cost-effectiveness screening of the limited income sub-portfolio shall be required in the same manner as with respect to the other EmPOWER sub-portfolios, the results of the limited-income sub-portfolio screening shall serve as a point of comparison to other jurisdictions and past programmatic performance rather than as the basis for precluding certain limited-income program offerings.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Maryland Public Service Commission encourages the coordination and leveraging of the ratepayer funded EmPOWER Maryland program with the Weatherization Assistance Program ("WAP") and alongside any other limited income program offered in the state.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In the late 1990s, Massachusetts restructuring law established a low-income conservation fund through a 0.25 mills per KWh charge on every electric customer, while a conservation charge on natural gas customers’ bills has funded natural gas low-income energy efficiency programs.

In 2010, the program received additional funding through the 2008 Green Communities Act, which required that 10% of electric utility program funds and 20% of gas program funds be spent on comprehensive low-income energy efficiency and education programs. The legislation further directed that these programs be implemented through the low-income weatherization and fuel assistance program network with the objective of standardizing implementation among all utilities.

In addition to the WAP-coordinated programs which directly serve low-income clients, the utilities fund the Low-Income Multifamily Retrofit Program, which provides cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to multifamily buildings, including nonprofit and public housing authorities. The program is targeted to 1–4 unit residential buildings where at least 50% of the units are occupied by low-income residents earning at or below 60% of area median income. Eligible projects involve efficiency upgrades for buildings with currently high energy consumption, specifically for space heating, hot water, air sealing, and insulation of building envelopes, lighting, and appliances.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Massachusetts relies on the TRC test as its primary test for DSM programs, but specifically calculates additional benefits from low-income programs in its benefit-cost ratio.

D.P.U. 08-50-B specifies that an Energy Efficiency Plan must include calculations of non-electric benefits, specifically those related to: “(A) reduced costs for operation and maintenance associated with efficient equipment or practices; (B) the value of longer equipment replacement cycles and/or productivity improvements associated with efficient equipment; (C) reduced environmental and safety costs, such as those for changes in a waste stream or disposal of lamp ballasts or ozone-depleting chemicals; and (D) all benefits associated with providing energy efficiency services to Low-Income Customers.”

In 2010, in its 2010–2012 Three-Year Plan Order, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) ordered the program administrators to conduct a more thorough analysis of non-energy impacts through evaluation studies. The DPU, with few exceptions, approved these studies. A study for the Massachusetts Program Administrators, conducted by NMR Group, incorporates findings from a review of the Non-Energy Impacts (NEI) literature to quantify non-energy benefits (NEB), including NEBs for low-income programs. The most recent low-income NEI study was completed in 2016. The recommended low-income health NEIs included asthma reductions, thermal stress reductions, productivity improvements due to fewer missed workdays and improved sleep, reduced risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, reduced risk of fire, and reduced reliance on highinterest, predatory loans.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Since 1994, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development has designated Action, Inc., a non-profit charitable organization, to represent the subgrantee network and facilitate efforts to leverage nonfederal funding for the WAP network. The WAP network in Massachusetts currently administers utility-funded Demand Side Management (DSM) programs that provide full-scale weatherization as well as Appliance Management Programs (AMPs) for low-income households. Coordination occurs through the Massachusetts Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN), which was established by the lead agencies of the low-income weatherization and fuel assistance program network. LEAN works to standardize eligibility requirements, procedures, and standards to enable delivery of various programs through CAP agencies throughout the state.

Last updated: September 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

SB 438, approved in December 2016, extended the state’s 1% annual energy savings requirement for utilities through 2021. The bill does not specify a minimum required level of spending or savings for low-income energy efficiency programs, other than to direct that distribution customers’ funding responsibilities for low-income residential programs be proportionate to the distribution customers’ funding of the total energy optimization (EO) program: “The established funding level for low-income residential programs shall be provided from each customer rate class in proportion to that customer rate class’s funding of the provider’s total energy optimization programs.”

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Sec. 71 (4)(g) of SB 438 appears to exempt low-income programs from demonstrating cost-effectiveness. To demonstrate that the provider’s energy waste reduction programs, excluding program offerings to low-income residential customers, will collectively be cost effective, SB 438 states: “An energy waste reduction plan shall…demonstrate that the provider’s energy waste reduction programs, excluding program offerings to low-income residential customers, will collectively be cost-effective.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Bureau of Community Action and Economic Opportunity (BCAEO) within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is responsible for administration of the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) for the state and for overseeing activities of Michigan Community Action Agencies (CAAs). The CAAs, utilities, and other agencies coordinate at the local level with utility EO programs directly supplementing WAP to streamline efforts and leverage available funding.

Michigan also distributes funds through the Michigan Energy Assistance Program, which are grants to non-profit organizations who assist the low income with bill pay. Many utilities coordinate their energy efficiency programs with these organizations to further assist low-income households with their home energy needs.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Minnesota Statute 216B.241 (Subdivision 7) requires both natural gas and electric utilities to provide low-income energy efficiency programs. Both municipal gas and electric utilities must spend at least 0.2% of their gross operating revenue from residential customers on low-income programs. Legislation passed in 2013 raised the minimum low-income spending requirement for investor-owned natural gas utilities from 0.2% to 0.4% of their most recent three-year average gross operating revenue from residential customers.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in MN Statutes 261B.241 and Rule 7690.0550. The benefit-cost tests are required for portfolio, total program, and customer project level screening with exceptions for low-income programs. Subd 7(e) of 216B.241 directs that “costs and benefits associated with any approved low-income gas or electric conservation improvement program that is not cost-effective when considering the costs and benefits to the utility may, at the discretion of the utility, be excluded from the calculation of net economic benefits for purposes of calculating the financial incentive to the utility. The energy and demand savings may, at the discretion of the utility, be applied toward the calculation of overall portfolio energy and demand savings for purposes of determining progress toward annual goals and in the financial incentive mechanism.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is responsible for administration of the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The department’s Division of Energy Resources includes not only WAP but also the State Energy Program (SEP), Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), as well as the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), a statewide program funded by ratepayers to help Minnesota households and businesses use electricity and natural gas more efficiency. Close proximity of these programs within the department allows for coordination of services for low-income households. The Department of Commerce Energy Assistance Program (EAP) offers a simple one-stop shop for applying to EAP, WAP, and CIP.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified, although most regulated utilities voluntarily offer low-income programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

While no legislation or regulations have been adopted to require a specific level of utility spending for low-income energy efficiency programs as reported by the PSC, the Commission has ordered a number of regulated utilities to include specified levels of funding for low-income weatherization programs in their rates. The Division of Energy requested this in cases to assure continuous funding levels rather than subjecting WAP funding to voluntary MEEIA programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Missouri specifies the total resource cost (TRC) test to be a primary test for cost effectiveness. The benefit-cost tests are required for portfolio and total program level screening, although state regulations for utilities allow for low-income programs to have a TRC ratio of less than one (4 CSR 240-20.094(2).

Section 393.1075.4 of Misouri Code also specifies that "programs targeted to low-income customers or general education campaigns do not need to meet a cost-effectiveness test, so long as the commission determines that the program or campaign is in the public interest.” 

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Division of Energy administers the state Weatherization Assistance Program and also receives utility weatherization funds from four investor-owned utilities to administer consistent with US DOE WAP guidelines pursuant to PSC rate case orders. These funds are awarded by the Division of Energy to local weatherization agencies at the same time as state WAP funds and are subject to the same quality control and monitoring procedures. Local agencies use a combination of the utility and state WAP funds to maximize cost-effective savings. 

The four utilities with weatherization funds administered by the Division of Energy are: Ameren Missouri Electric ($1.2 million/year),  Ameren Natural Gas ($263,000), Laclede Gas ($950,000/year),  Liberty Gas ($105,000). For the remaining utilities that administer their own WAP funds/programs, the utilities have contracts with the affected local WAP agencies that are DE’s subgrantees and administer the federal WAP funds.

 

Last updated: August 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

SB 150, passed in 2015, made changes to the state’s system benefit fund, increasing a public utility’s minimum funding level for low-income energy and weatherization assistance and clarifying that eligible projects can be located on tribal reservations. SB 150 increases a public utility’s minimum annual funding requirement for low-income energy and weatherization assistance from 17% to 50% of the public utility’s annual electric universal system benefits (USB) level. A cooperative utility’s minimum annual funding requirement for low-income energy assistance remains at 17% of its annual USB funding level.

Mont. Code 69-8-402 specifies that the initial funding level for USB programs is 2.4% of each utility’s annual retail sales revenue for the calendar year ending December 31, 1995.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Montana specifies the TRC to be its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for the individual measure level for program screening, but there are exceptions for low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Utilities collaborate closely with local and regional community-action and state agencies as well as the Nebraska Energy Assistance Network (NEAN) to fund and coordinate low-income assistance including weatherization and billing assistance.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In July 2001, Nevada passed AB 661, which created the Nevada Fund for Energy Assistance and Conservation (FEAC) through a universal energy charge (UEC) assessed on retail customers of the state’s regulated electric and gas utilities. Nevada’s Energy Assistance Code specifies the UEC is 3.30 mills per therm of natural gas and 0.39 mills per kWh of electricity purchased by these customers.

NRS 702.270 requires that 25% of the money in the FEAC must be distributed to the Nevada Housing Division for programs of energy conservation, weatherization, and energy efficiency for eligible households. The Housing Division may use not more than 6% of the money distributed to it, pursuant to this section, for its administrative expenses.

In June 2017, SB 150 was signed into law, which, in addition to directing the PUCN to establish annual energy savings goals for NV Energy, also requires utilities to set aside 5 percent of efficiency program budgets for low-income customers.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In August 2016, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement agreement in Order No. 25,932 establishing a statewide energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) targeting overall cumulative savings of 3.1% of electric sales and 2.25% of gas sales by 2020. The agreement also provides for an increase in the minimum low-income share of the overall energy efficiency budget from 15.5% to 17%. As proposed, the increase would take effect on January 1, 2017, and remain in effect through the first three-year period of the EERS. During that time, the Settling Parties will explore additional funding sources to augment ratepayer funding.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The August 2016 settlement agreement notes that prior to the filing of the first EERS plan, the Settling Parties would review the existing performance incentives formula and consider the way it values achievements of low-income programs.

New Hampshire uses the total resource cost (TRC) test framework for all programs, including low-income programs. However, the commission recognizes low-income benefits and low-income programs that do not screen with benefit-cost ratios greater than 1.0 may still be approved if the programs are otherwise well designed. New Hampshire had a 15% environmental adder, but now treats those costs as internalized. In New Hampshire, utilities coordinate with the CAP agencies that implement the state/federal weatherization assistance program for mutual leveraging.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Efforts to deliver low-income programs are coordinated with Community Action Agencies. Annual electric and MMBtu savings are revised to reflect current projects modeled by the CAAs.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The State’s low-income energy efficiency program, New Jersey Comfort Partners, arose out of 1999 restructuring legislation that designated a systems benefit charge as the funding source for energy efficiency programs. A low Income program is required as set forth in EDECA 1999 at NJSA 48:3-61.  The NJBPU has approved a low income energy efficiency program since 2001.  

There appear to be no specific levels of required of spending, although each year the program budget does specify annual goals for number of customers served. The goal for the number of electric service customers both served and committed is 4,400 on a 12-month basis from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. The goal for the number of gas service customers both served and committed is 4,090 on a 12-month basis from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

Comfort Partners has helped more than 100,000 low-income households since 2001 and has consistently increased its funding levels each year along with those of other Clean Energy programs. The Comfort Partners Utilities’ Working Group adopted the 2006 APPRISE Inc. recommendation from the evaluation of the Universal Service Fund and the December 2014 Comfort Partners evaluation that the Working Group will engage stakeholders to develop an initiative to encourage a greater number of USF customers to participate in a Comfort Partners Program audit. Per the December 2014 Apprise evaluation recommendations, the Program is transitioning from serving as many homes as the budget would allow, to striving to install deeper energy savings measures per project. 

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The NJBPU does not require that the Comfort Partners Program meet any cost effectiveness tests.  Implementation of a low income energy efficiency program is required by NJSA 48:3-61 and does not require any cost effectiveness tests.  The low income EE CPP based on the energy audit implements all measures at the full cost plus measures required to address health and safety that are within the budget and seasonal spending guidelines.  If this level is not sufficient to implement the measures the program can request additional approved spending.   This process is set in the utilities filing and approved priority list. 

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Office of Low-Income Energy Conservation (OLIEC) within the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is responsible for administration of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). In addition, seven utility partners throughout the state administer the New Jersey Comfort Partners Program. The NJCP program tracking database provides information on the population of households served by the program, their home and job characteristics, program spending and measures, and inspection results, in addition to enabling coordination of information with WAP.

If WAP or NJCP does not or is prevented from providing a service, the agency or contractor is instructed to make a referral to the other program. For example, air conditioner replacement or repair is provided by NJCP, but is not provided by WAP. The WAP agency would refer a customer who is a candidate for an air conditioning repair or replacement to NJCP for their review and eligibility. 

As of June 2017, both Comfort Partners and NJDCA WAP are implementing a pilot in a number of WAP and CPP projects to address more in-depth coordination  Both CPP and WAP are working on an MOU in this regard that may be developed following pilot implementation to set forth the structure for closer alignment of CPP and WAP.  

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The state’s energy efficiency targets, first established in 2005 within the Efficient Use of Energy Act, were amended in 2013 with the passage of HB 267. The legislation calls for an 8% reduction of energy consumption as a percent of sales by 2020 and also directs that no less than 5% of the amount received by the public utility for program costs shall be specifically directed to energy efficiency programs for low-income customers.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The utility cost test (UCT) is conducted in New Mexico and is considered to be the primary test for decision making and evaluating program cost effectiveness. HB 267 directs that “…In developing this test for energy efficiency and load management programs directed to low-income customers, the commission shall either quantify or assign a reasonable value to reductions in working capital, reduced collection costs, lower bad-debt expense, improved customer service effectiveness and other appropriate factors as utility system economic benefits.”

It was later codified in New Mexico Administrative Code that: “In developing the utility cost test for energy efficiency and load management measures and programs directed to low-income customers, unless otherwise quantified in a commission proceeding, the public utility shall assume that 20% of the calculated energy savings is the reasonable value of reductions in working capital, reduced collection costs, lower bad-debt expense, improved customer service, effectiveness, and other appropriate factors qualifying as utility system economic benefits” [17.7.2.9 NMAC - Rp. 17.7.2.9 NMAC, 1-1-15].

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The EmPower New York program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under an agreement with the New York Public Service Commission (PSC), offers no-cost energy services for households with incomes at or less than 60% of state median income.

An October 2011 order set system benefits charge (SBC)/EEPS funding levels for 2012–2015, providing EmPower New York with $73.7 million through the electric EEPS and $97.9 million through the gas EEPS, which amounts to approximately 30% of SBC collections attributable to residential customers. As explained in the order, the PSC specifically chose this level based upon recommendations from staff and stakeholders that low-income customers represent approximately 30% of total residential customers.

In addition, the January 2016 PSC Order authorizing the Clean Energy Fund Framework requires that NYSERDA “must invest at least $234.5 million of Market Development funds in Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) initiatives over the initial three year period.”

Market Development is one of four distinct portfolios supported by the Clean Energy Fund; the others include Innovation & Research, NY-Sun, and the NY Green Bank.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

New York screens programs at the measure level and requires each to have a TRC score of at least 1.0 with some exceptions. It appears that New York’s TRC test does not explicitly address non-energy benefits of low-income programs. However, the New York PSC has generally recognized and considered low-income specific benefits in deciding on funding for utility low-income programs. For example,  in a 2010 Order, the commission approved a low-income program with a TRC ratio of 0.91, finding that “…As a general principle, all customers should have reasonable opportunities to participate in and benefit from EEPS programs. It is also important that supplemental funding be provided to address gas efficiency measures in this program.”

Coordination of Low-Income and WAP Services

The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) Office of Housing Preservation is responsible for administration of New York’s Weatherization Assistance Program. HCR works with the New York State Public Service Commission, NYSERDA, and other agencies to help ensure that needs of low-income clients are addressed through coordination of the WAP with other funds and programs where possible, and to streamline delivery of all low-income programs available in the state.

NYSERDA also administers several efficiency programs that assist low-income households, and provides additional opportunities for subgrantees to leverage WAP funding. The additional services provided through these programs include electric reduction measures such as energy-efficient appliance replacement, lighting replacement and retrofits, electric domestic water heater measures, cooling usage reduction, energy-efficient motor replacement and retrofit, and energy education activities. While changes to these programs are anticipated as a result of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding, New York is committed to providing additional support to mitigate the impact of changing energy markets on low-income households.

The state has also convened an Interagency Task Force on energy needs composed of HCR, the Department of Public Service, OTDA, NYSERDA, and the Governor’s Office for Energy Finance. The Task Force is developing strategies to address energy affordability within the state and to utilize disparate funding streams in a coordinated, targeted fashion to more holistically address the energy needs of low-income communities and improve outcomes for low-income households.

More information on New York’s coordination of WAP with other programs can be found in the state’s 2017 WAP Plan.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

North Carolina Senate Bill 3 was finalized in 2008, introducing the state’s combined Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS); however the legislation does not address requirements for low-income programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in SB 3—NC GA session law (SL 2007-397)Rule 8-68, and Rule 8-69. None mention specific cost-effectiveness rules pursuant to low-income programs, however, low-income programs are generally not required to meet cost-effectiveness thresholds.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

There is limited coordination between utilities and local community service organizations and state agencies administering weatherization programs.

Last Updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific level of spending is required.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Ohio’s Restructuring Act, passed in July 1999, created the Universal Service Fund to control the cost of state’s Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) for low-income customers. Sec. 4928.55 of the legislation also directed the creation of the Electric Partnership Program (EPP) to target high-cost, high-volume PIPP or PIPP-eligible households. The EPP is designed to improve the electric efficiency of low-income households who participate in or are eligible for PIPP Plus. The program performs in-home audits and installs appropriate electric energy efficiency measures. About $15 million is set aside for the EPP each year. In addition to the EPP, most of Ohio’s gas utilities have weatherization programs, typically coordinated with the federal Weatherization Assistance Program.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Ohio uses the total resource cost (TRC) test and the utility cost test (UCT). Ohio specifies the TRC as its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for portfolio and customer project-level screening, and are stated in Case No. 09-512-GE-UNC.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA), Community Services Division, Office of Community Assistance (OCA) is responsible for administering LIHEAP, the Community Services Block Grant, the PIPP Plus Program, the State Energy Plan, and the EPP. In doing so, the HWAP network integrates federal weatherization funds with utility resources through a single coordinated funding model, managing programs for all seven major utilities. 

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Under OAC 165:35-41-4, all electric utilities under rate regulation of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) must propose, at least once every three years, and be responsible for the administration and implementation of a demand portfolio of energy efficiency and demand response programs within their service territories. The regulations specify that demand portfolios address programs for low-income customers and hard-to-reach customers “to assure proportionate Demand Programs are deployed in these customer groups despite higher barriers to energy efficiency investments.”

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

OAC 165:35-41-4 directs that demand programs targeted to low-income or hard-to-reach customers may have lower threshold cost-effectiveness results than other efficiency programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Legislation (Senate Bill 1149) requiring electric industry restructuring for the state’s largest investor-owned utilities was signed into law in July 1999. The law establishes an annual expenditure by the utilities of 3% of their revenues to fund “Public Purposes,” including energy efficiency, development of new renewable energy, and low-income weatherization. Per the legislation, 13% of the public purpose charge would be allocated to low-income weatherization through the Energy Conservation Helping Oregonians (ECHO) program.
  
Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket UM 551, Order 94-590, which lays out a number of situations where the PUC may make exceptions to the standard societal test calculation.  Order 15-200, signed June 23, 2015, concerns Idaho Power Company’s request for cost-effective exceptions to its DSM programs. The commission adopted the recommendation of staff that cost-effectiveness requirements in Order 95-590 do not apply to low-income weatherization programs, such as the Weatherization Assistance for Qualified Customers Program (WAQC).

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) is responsible for administering US DOE Weatherization Assistance Program funds. OHCS also administers other funds related to low-income weatherization, including LIHEAP, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Low-Income Weatherization Program, the occasional Petroleum Violation Escrow Program (PVE) funds and the SBC-funded Energy Conservation Helping Oregonians (ECHO) program, and any funds designated for low-income weatherization awarded to the state as a result of legal settlements.

Subgrantees also have access to funds from utility rebates and the State Home Oil Weatherization Program (SHOW). Utility rebates and SHOW funds are not administered by OHCS.

Last updated: August 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In June 2015, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) issued an implementation order for Phase III of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Program, setting five-year cumulative targets of 5.1 million MWh, equivalent to about 0.77% incremental savings per year through 2020. The order also requires each utility to obtain a minimum of 5.5% of their total consumption reduction target from the low-income sector.

In addition, utilities coordinate Act 129 low-income energy efficiency programs with the Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP). LIURP is statewide, utility-sponsored usage-reduction program mandated by the Electric and Gas Choice Competition Act at 66 Pa.C.S.A. 2803 for electric and 2202 for gas, as part of the Universal Service Programs required for those customers who are at or below 150% of the Federal Income Poverty Guidelines. Details are available in each years’ Universal Service Report on the PUC website

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In Order M-2015-2468992, the PUC specifies 2016 total resource cost test requirements. Pennsylvania relies on the total resource cost (TRC) test and considers it to be its primary cost-effectiveness test. A benefit-cost test is required for portfolio-level screening. The commission requires that the electric distribution companies provide benefit and cost data for both low-income and estimated non-low-income residential program savings in their annual reports and that TRC Tests be calculated for all low-income programs and all residential programs. However the Commission does not require a separate PA TRC test calculation for the low-income sector, as separate PA TRC tests are not required for any other customer sector.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has a Weatherization Policy Advisory Council, of which the PUC is a voting member. There is a Coordination Committee, formed in 2012 that is charged with the specific task of coordinating the WAP program with LIURP and the Act 129 Low-Income Programs. There is a 2016 MOU that was put into place between DCED and the PUC to facilitate data sharing between all the agencies’ weatherization programs but this MOU has not been posted or made publicly available.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Affordability Act of 2006 requires utilities to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency and establishes requirements for strategic long-term planning and purchasing of least-cost supply and demand resources, as well as three-year energy saving targets. In Docket No. 4580, National Grid’s Energy Efficiency Program Plan for 2016, funding for residential income eligible programs is set at 13.2% of total implementation funding for the electric programs, and 20% for natural gas customers. These levels were adjusted to 13% and 21%, respectively, for 2017 in Docket No. 4654.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Docket No. 4443 outlines incremental electricity savings goals for 2015–2017 and notes that the Energy Efficiency Resource Management Council recommended including resource impacts and non-energy benefits in the TRC test analysis, but only to specific programs or technologies such as income-eligible programs or combined heat and power. Although Rhode Island General Laws require the consideration of non-energy benefits (NEBs) in the development of combined heat and power, there does not appear to be a similar provision in the General Laws for income-eligible programs. In the absence of non-energy impact evaluations of Rhode Island programs, the state has relied on Massachusetts’ benefit valuation work, as they have similar program types (Woolf et al. 2013).

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Community Services is responsible for administration of the state’s WAP and LIHEAP programs. CLEAResult, which since 2013 has operated as the lead vendor for National Grid’s Income Eligible Services (IES) program, works collaboratively with DHS to deliver weatherization services to eligible Rhode Islanders. Although DOE funds and utility funds are not directly blended on DOE weatherization jobs, the relationship is beneficial to both parties by enabling sharing of energy efficiency knowledge and program expertise.

As an example, CLEAResult and DHS have formed a “Weatherization Technical Committee” (WTC), which meets on alternating months and is comprised of a technical representative from each CAP agency (i.e. an experienced energy auditor); the CLEAResult QA Manager; and the three state monitors to discuss best practices and develop policy on weatherization matters of a technical nature. DHS and CLEAResult have also worked collaboratively on the development of a RI WAP/IES Operations Manual which will incorporate all applicable elements of WPN 15-4

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The South Carolina Energy Efficiency Act and resultant statute (Section 48-52-210) direct the state agencies to establish comprehensive energy efficiency plans and “… ensure that basic energy needs of all citizens, including low-income citizens, are met.” No minimum requirements for low-income energy efficiency spending or savings are specified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

SCE&G, Duke Energy Carolinas, and Duke Energy Progress all include regulatory cost-recovery mechanisms that would function in the case of future low-income programs that do not pass cost-effectiveness tests.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

According to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio and total program-level screening. The rules for benefit-cost tests are not specified. Some exceptions of flexibility exist in the application like low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

As amended by SB 1434 in June 2011, Substantive Rule § 25.181 states “…each utility shall ensure that annual expenditures for the targeted low-income energy efficiency program are not less than 10% of the utility’s energy efficiency budget for the program year.”

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In an Order adopted September 28, 2012, the commission directed that low-income programs would not be required to meet the cost-effectiveness standard in Substantive Rule § 25.181, but rather would only need to meet standards required by the Savings-to-Investment ratio (SIR) methodology. All measures with an SIR of 1.0 or greater qualifies for installation. The SIR is the ratio of the present value of a customer’s estimated lifetime electricity cost savings from energy efficiency measures to the present value of the installation costs, inclusive of any incidental repairs, of those energy efficiency measures.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Utility low-income programs are administered separately from WAP programs.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Rocky Mountain Power provides low-income weatherization services to income-eligible households through a partnership with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Housing and Community Development Division ("HCD"). HCD receives federal funds and
subcontracts with seven non-profit agencies that install energy efficiency measures in the homes of income eligible households throughout Rocky Mountain Power's service area. Rocky Mountain Power's funding of 50 percent of the cost of approved measures is leveraged by HCD with the federal funding they receive, allowing more homes to be served each year. Services are at no cost to the program participants. In 2016, the program achieved savings at site of 210,154 kWh and served 332 homes.

Questar Gas Company annually provides $500,000 of low-income ratepayer-funded assistance delivered through a partnership with the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Housing and Community Development Division. It is targeted at replacing inefficient furnaces for income-qualified households. In 2016 1,212 participants were served with savings of 13,225 Dth. In addition, an approved non-profit or governmental organization may apply for rebates under the ThermWise Appliance and Weatherization programs for qualifying measures listed in § 2.10 and §2.14 of the Tariff.
 

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket No. 09-035-27. Utah uses the total resource cost (TRC) test, utility cost test (UCT), participant cost test (PCT), and ratepayer impact measure (RIM). Approval of individual DSM programs or portfolios of programs should be based on an overall determination that the program or portfolio is in the public interest after consideration of all five tests and the passage of the threshold test, the UCT. In addition, Utah also utilizes the PacifiCorp TRC (PTRC) test, which follows the Northwest convention of adding 10% to the avoided costs to account for unquantified environmental and transmission and distribution impacts.

Questar Gas Company follows the California Standard Practice Manual. Questar Gas Company's requirements are identified docket No. 05-057-T01.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Utah Division of Housing and Community Development administer's the state's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Participating households average nearly 33 percent in savings, or approximately $285 per year, after the completion of weatherization improvements. To apply for weatherization assistance, individuals must submit their application to the agency that services the county in which they reside. Benefits are provided in the form of noncash grants to eligible households to make energy-efficiency improvements to those homes.

The HCD contracts with seven (7) Low-Income Efficiency Program Agencies. Those agencies are: Bear River Association of
Governments, Salt Lake Community Action Program, Housing Authority of Utah County, Six County Association of Governments, Five County Association of Governments, Uintah Basin Association of Governments, and Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments, all of which qualify as approved non-profit or governmental organizations (HCD implementation agencies).

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Efficiency Vermont (EVT), the state’s energy efficiency utility established in 1999, is funded through a systems benefits charge on all utility customers’ bills. Vermont requires that EVT achieve a minimum level of low-income services spending (for the 2015-2017 period the requirement is $10.5 million).  Most of the costs of the electric efficiency measures implemented by EVT and the community-based weatherization agencies are paid for by EVT, with any remaining balances covered by the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).  

Other funding for WAP comes from the state’s Weatherization Trust Fund, which was created in 1990 through legislative enactment of a gross-receipts tax of 0.5% on all non-transportation fuels sold in the state. 

As specified by Vermont Law, net proceeds from the sale of carbon credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as well as Net revenues/payments from the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) forward capacity savings resulting from the activities of the energy efficiency utility are designatedare  to be used to deliver thermal energy and process fuel (TEPF) energy efficiency services by the EEU’s.  Total low-income spending must be greater than 17% of the total TEPF fund expenditures.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Vermont specifies the societal cost test to be its primary test for decision making. A 15% adjustment is applied to the cost-effectiveness screening tool for low-income customer programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) administers the Vermont Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) which includes both state and federal funds. OEO monitors and provides training and technical assistance to five non‐profit community Weatherization Assistance Programs.  Efficiency Vermont supplements the state weatherization program with add-on measures beyond what would otherwise be included in the state- and federally funded WAP. These measures include ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerators, ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washers, lighting, ventilation fans, and smart power strips. Efficiency Vermont continually assesses potential new measures to include in the scope of the add-on program and has updated its offerings to include heat pump water heaters, dehumidifiers, and mini-split heat pumps. Community Action Program agencies offer these measures as a part of the same program delivery as the state weatherization program, so customers must interact with only one program. 

Last updated: August 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific minimum required spending or savings levels for low-income programs are in place. The Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1349 in 2015, requiring utility pilot programs for energy assistance and weatherization for low-income, elderly, and disabled households. Governor Terry McAuliffe further strengthened this legislation through the issuance of Executive Directive 3 with additional implementing instructions.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in 20 VAC 5-304-10, but they do not address low-income programs.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Washington specifies the total resource cost (TRC) test to be its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio and program-level screening. Per WAC 480-109-100, low-income weatherization is not included in the portfolio or sector-level cost effectiveness analysis. Companies may implement low-income programs that have a TRC ratio of 0.67 or above. The rules for benefit-cost tests are directed by the Energy Independence Act of 2006, codified in Chapter 194-37 WAC, which specifies that the TRC test include all non-energy impacts that a resource or measure may provide that can be quantified and monetized. Washington also applies an additional 10% benefit to account for non-quantifiable externalities, consistent with the Northwest Power Act.

WAC 480-109-100(10)(a) allows utilities to fully fund low-income conservation measures that are determined to be cost-effective consistent with the procedures in the Weatherization Manual, as well as associated repairs, administrative costs, and health and safety improvements. However, in Docket UE-131723, signed March 12, 2015, the commission revised the rule language to allow, rather than require, utilities to pursue low-income conservation that is cost-effective consistent with the procedures of the Weatherization Manual. “In recognition that low-income conservation programs have significant non-energy benefits, we find it appropriate for utilities to maintain robust low-income conservation offerings despite the unique barriers these programs face.”

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Washington State is investing $15 million from 2015 to 2017 to provide weatherization in all counties of the state through its Matchmaker program, which matches state dollars with utility and other programs’ investments in weatherization. This biennium $4.3 million is being reserved in Matchmaker for the new Weatherization Plus Health initiative, which combines energy- and cost-saving weatherization improvements in low-income homes with measures that reduce health risks and health costs for vulnerable families. It is targeted to improve the home environments for children and adults with asthma.

In addition, the state applies over $70,000 of DOE WAP funding toward cosponsoring the Energy Project with the Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP). The Energy Project serves the entire Washington weatherization network and has served as a model leveraging project for other states. The Opportunity Council in Bellingham serves as the administrative agent under an agreement with the WSCAP. Over the 23 years of its operation, the Energy Project’s activities have resulted in approximately $188 million of additional funding for low-income households. The Energy Project works to advocate for energy program funding and program designs that help low-income households by providing technical assistance to local agencies, negotiating programs with local utilities in coordination with the affected agencies, educating decision makers, evaluating and reporting progress, and researching new approaches and best practices for providing service.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: July 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The Reliability 2000 Law, passed in 1999, created a program for awarding grants to provide assistance to low-income households for weatherization and other energy conservation services, payment of energy bills, and the early identification and prevention of energy crises. The law specifies that 47% of total low-income funds must be dedicated to weatherization. The legislation required the Department of Administration to collect $24 million for low-income public benefits services the first year and to calculate a low-income need target in subsequent years. This low-income need target is calculated based on the estimated number of low-income families (households at or below 150% of the poverty level) multiplied by the estimated need per eligible household.

Funding for the low-income energy portion of the public benefits fund varies each year and comes from three sources.

(1) Electric utilities are required to charge customers a fee in the amount determined by statute (16.957) and administrative rules (Chapter Adm 43). The total amount collected must meet the low-income need target when added to the following:

(a) the estimated low-income assistance fees collected by municipal utilities and retail electric cooperatives

(b) all low-income energy assistance received from the federal government

(c) all low-income energy assistance received from “transferred” fees the state receives from public utilities

(d) the total amount expended directly by utilities for low-income assistance

The proposed fee, calculated to meet the low-income need target, is submitted to the secretary of DOA for approval. The estimated fee revenue is then divided between the low-income weatherization assistance program and the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance program. The results are shared with the Low-Income Energy Advisory Committee and the state’s 12 investor-owned utilities.

(2) A monthly low-income assistance fee collected on all customer bills: While the amount of the charge is to be determined by the Department of Administration each year, the statute provides that the charge is to be a fixed charge, with 70% of the total revenue being collected from the residential customer class and 30% being collected from non-residential customers (Wisc. Stat. §16.957(4)(b)(2) (2007)).

(3) Current year’s federal LIHEAP and weatherization allocations.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Commission Order Docket 5-FE-100, Ref #: 215245, final decision dated September 5, 2014, although no specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are mentioned for low-income programs. Wisconsin uses a modified total resource cost (TRC) test that includes the value of emissions avoided through the program, including carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides. In addition, the commission also makes use of the utility cost test (UCT) and ratepayer impact measure (RIM).

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR) administers Home Energy Plus (HE+) through a network of county agencies, tribal governments, community-based organizations, and housing authorities. HE+ includes the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), Home Energy Plus Furnace Program, and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Wisconsin’s WAP is funded with a combination of state and federal funds including US Department of Energy (DOE), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP or EAP), and state Public Benefits (PB) funding.

Wisconsin’s management of federal, state, and utility funding is unique in that Wisc. Stat. §16.957 directs agencies to aggregate all funding streams into a single public benefit fund to coordinate distribution of assistance.

Last updated: April 2017

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Wyoming specifies the TRC test to be its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio level screening. The rules for benefit-cost tests are not specified.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017