Direct Install Plus Multifamily Pilot Program - Final Report

The multifamily sector is known as one that is particularly elusive for energy efficiency programs to address. Although CenterPoint Energy has Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) offerings that apply to the multifamily sector, there is no sector specific program designed to maximize participation and energy savings within the multifamily sector. CenterPoint was interested in seeing if the successful direct install approach that has been used in the single‐family sector (the Home Energy Squad program) could be used in the multifamily sector. From December 2012 – August 2013, the Center for Energy and Environment designed, recruited participants, and completed a pilot program for 10 multifamily buildings, with a total of 306 units. The purpose of the pilot was to determine the viability of a “direct‐install plus” program design for the multifamily sector in Minnesota that, if viable, could eventually be incorporated into CenterPoint Energy’s Conservation Improvement Program portfolio.  The Direct Install Plus program design for multifamily buildings incorporates direct install of low‐flow aerators and low‐flow showerheads in individual units, in addition to a targeted investigation of additional simple building‐wide savings opportunities, such as adjusting boiler controls.  In addition (although not funded by CenterPoint Energy), the pilot included the direct install of compact florescent light bulbs, in order to test the opportunity of a joint gas‐electric program. Multifamily is defined as residential buildings with five or more units that receive gas service from CenterPoint Energy.   

The pilot was designed to address the following research questions: 

  • What is the approximate savings potential for a typical multifamily building (both gas and electric) for the direct install plus program design?  
  • What is reasonable co‐pay to expect multifamily owners to pay for the service?  
  • What is a first order estimate of overall market potential for such a program (i.e., how many MF building owners would participate)?   
  • Are there additional savings opportunities, such as re‐programming existing boiler controls or adding outside air re‐set and cut‐out controls, that can be incorporated into the direct install program design?

Full report (PDF):
Direct Install Plus Multifamily Pilot Program - Final Report

Appendix (PDF):
Direct Install Plus Multifamily Pilot Program - Appendix