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Direct Energy Low Income Assistance Programs. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS Neighbour-to-Neighbour Fresh start Low income discount ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS. Low Income Assistance Programs. TARGET Lower income housing residents

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Direct energy low income assistance programs

Direct Energy Low Income Assistance Programs

Low income assistance programs



Fresh start

Low income discount


Low Income Assistance Programs

De s residential energy efficiency program reep

TARGET Lower income housing residents

OBJECTIVE Help eligible households reduce energy consumption by providing them with free energy efficient solutions

PROCESSDirect Energy in partnership with the City of Houston and CenterPoint

City of Houston:

> identifies target demographics (home age/condition, household size/income)

> contacts local social/community agencies to promote the program/sign up residences

> provides its city logo to Direct Energy to bolster take-up of the program

CenterPoint Energy (LDC):

> designs, funds, and administers the Standard Offer Program (SOP)

> energy efficiency measures are determined with approval from the Public Utilities Commission

> determines compensation, provides pre-/post audits

Direct Energy

> schedules an appointment time with the residence

> evaluates and qualifies the house with Door Blower and Duct Blaster test

> determines, performs, and/or supervises suitable measures of installation

DE’s Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP)

Qualifying residences
Qualifying Residences

  • Direct Energy- conducts blower door test, duct test, and a visual inspection on a house before any work is initiated to determine if a home qualifies for the program.

  • The main causes of a house being disqualified is:

    • Sheet rock damage (holes to the attic or outside)

    • High levels of CO2

    • House envelope is already tight

    • Sufficient insulation

  • In January 258 houses were scheduled

    • 60 % of the houses qualified

    • 32% of the houses were disqualified because of sheet rock damage and/or high levels of CO2

    • 8% of the houses envelope were already tight and had sufficient insulation

Qualifying measures
Qualifying Measures

  • Blown-in cellulose insulation

    • Performed by third party subcontractor: Comfortemp Insulation

  • Duct sealing

    • Requires duct blaster testing pre and post testing – minimum reduction required depending on tonnage of unit

  • Infiltration Reduction

    • Requires blower door pre and post testing - minimum 10% reduction required

    • Program measures:

      • Caulking of air gaps around windows, doors & baseboards

      • Weather-stripping of exterior doors

      • Installation of wall outlet and switch insulation gaskets

      • Sealing of plumbing penetrations

      • Weather-stripping of attic access stairs, doors and scuttles

      • Insulation of hot water piping (electric only)

      • Installation of water heater insulating blanket (electric only)

  • Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Reep results and participant demographics
REEP Results and Participant Demographics

Residence Demographics- (1,149 houses)

  • 1,597 average square footage

  • $37,436 average household income

  • An average of 3.4 residents per household

  • 37% are over the age of 65

  • Average home was built in 1960s

    Residence Participation- (1,149 houses)

  • 57% of the residence elected to participate in the Residential Energy Efficiency Program

  • 68% of the participants received energy efficiency measures

    Energy Reduction-

  • Centerpoint conducted a study of REEP participants that received energy efficiency measures, and found the average house received a19.1% reduction in energy usage.

Lessons learned from reep
Lessons learned from REEP

  • Simplicity – standard package of energy efficiency measures known to reduce consumption

  • Targeting important – housing stock that will benefit the most from energy efficiency improvements

  • Systematic coverage of effected neighbourhoods – builds momentum and makes roll-out less costly

  • Engagement with social agencies - consumers are unlikely to realise they require energy efficiency assistance and often don’t believe the services are free

  • Flexibility – utility funded but with multiple private sector providers who can ramp up coverage quickly and efficiently

  • Reporting – effective measurement of benefit helps all participants and fosters confidence in the program