A Christmas Carol: How Visions Past and Present Help Plan for the Future

A Christmas Carol: How Visions Past and Present Help Plan for the Future

Authored by Anu Teja, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; Andrew Rietz, The Cadmus Group LLC; Steve Cofer, The Cadmus Group LLC (Paper presented at ACEEE 2018 Summer Study for Buildings)

Residential energy efficiency planners need to continually evaluate energy baselines and understand market changes to ensure program offerings remain current and relevant. One way to accomplish this is to analyze past and present data from inventories of completed homes.

Drawing upon a study of approximately 4,000 homes completed during Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA) studies, this case study describes significant changes in the Northwest’s residential building stock, taking place between 2012 and 2017, and highlights opportunities for current and emerging technologies. The RBSA collected more than 2,000 data points, covering building construction and characteristics of lighting, HVAC, water heaters, appliances, and electronics. Technologies just beginning to emerge in the region during 2012 (e.g., ductless heat pumps, heat pump water
heaters, smart thermostats, and electric vehicles) have since gained regional and national attention. This case study reviews how saturation, penetration, and overall adoption of these technologies have changed over the past five years and who has adopted these technologies. This study provides useful information for planners across the country seeking to understand how current and emerging technologies fit into their resource planning strategies.

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