Partner: Resource Innovations
This study assessed the all-electric income eligible market in ComEd’s service territory and how to best serve this customer segment.
Over the past several years, a very limited volume of heat pumps has been installed in income eligible customers' homes through ComEd's weatherization offerings. Knowing that customers with existing inefficient electric heating are poised to see significant operational savings from heat pump conversion, this project aimed to identify the barriers to including heat pumps in these offerings.
Other utilities with successful energy efficiency programs serving this customer segment were surveyed to learn new program designs and identify best practices. The project team also evaluated how current home energy assessment findings can be used to establish measure package recommendations for income-eligible customers with inefficient electric heating.
Results and Outcomes
The research team’s IHWAP recommendation was to boost efforts to identify and engage the all-electric customer segment and to support CAA procurement efforts focused on air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, air sealing and attic insulation. They also recommended coordinating with DCEO to bolster training curriculums to increase familiarity by CAAs and their installation contractors, specifically around proper equipment sizing and controls programming to maximize the efficiency benefits of cold climate heat pumps.
Furthermore, the research team recommended coordinating with DCEO to ensure the IHWAP project database, WeatherWorks, baseline and replacement equipment assumptions are updated and configured so CAAs can realize the savings that will be achieved from the recommended high-efficiency technologies. Implementing contractor training into new and existing programs as well as providing education materials for customers will also be crucial to reaching these customers.