An analysis of a low-income residential energy efficiency program in Asheville, North Carolina

Authors: Sean Allwurden*, Furman University
Topics: Environmental Science, Sustainability Science, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Residential Energy efficiency, Weatherization, Spatial Analysis
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Cities that experience a rise in population see energy efficiency as a solution to curtail the increase in energy that an expanding city demands. Asheville, North Carolina has observed consistent energy demand growth for several decades, which will lead to a capacity shortage of 17 MW per year beginning in 2023. To address this issue, the Energy Innovation Task Force’s residential energy efficiency program sought to weatherize 100 low-income homes. The purpose of this study identifies specific aspects of the residential low-income energy efficiency program that should be utilized or avoided in future residential energy efficiency programs. Moreover, this study identifies spatial patterns in the energy audit and weatherization process. The number of clients, weatherizations, and energy audits were collected from 35 different areas located in Asheville. Is the energy efficiency program on track to weatherizing 100 homes in the allotted time frame? Of the 65 homeowners that signed up for the energy efficiency program, 35 energy audits and 15 low-cost weatherizations were accomplished by the program over a 6-month period. Are there any spatial patterns in the energy audit and weatherization process? Average Nearest Neighbor cluster analysis shows a statistically significant non-random dispersed pattern for both energy audits and weatherizations. Individually, the Nearest Neighbor Ratio for weatherizations is 0.3926 greater than energy audits, which means the distribution is slightly more dispersed. The results found that the pilot program needs to conduct 233 energy audits and have 432 clients in the database for the program to succeed.

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