An Evaluation of the Community Energy Workshop, An Energy Conservation Pilot Program for Low Income Households

In 1984, the Minneapolis Energy Office and Minnegasco launched a comprehensive energy pilot program aimed at decreasing gas use and arrearages in the low income population in the city. The program offered education on energy use habits, low-cost work to seal air leaks and bypasses, and major weatherization. In 56 cases analyzed, overall average savings were 11.2 percent of pre-retrofit normalized annual consumption (NAC). House doctoring alone saved 7.9 percent and had a median payback of 7.4 years; major weatherization plus house doctoring saved 24.7 percent and had a payback of 7.7 years. Conclusions point to the need for high quality low cost materials, coordinated efforts by all low income energy agencies in Minneapolis, and a manageable budget plan for participants, all of which were incorporated into the current program.

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An Evaluation of the Community Energy Workshop, An Energy Conservation Pilot Program for Low Income Households