Residential energy efficiency offers a unique way to simultaneously reduce energy use in buildings, lower energy bills for consumers, improve the comfort of homes, and generate carbon offsets. However, many homeowners who could benefit from energy efficiency retrofits are unable to, due to a number of common barriers that make the retrofit process challenging. For example, homeowners may not know what types of retrofits to complete, may not have the time to oversee the retrofit, and may not be able to pay for the retrofit up-front.
In 2012, Duke University began a five-year effort to identify these barriers and determine the best strategies to overcome them. The goal of this research is to design a program that helps Duke employees complete energy efficiency home retrofits and tracks carbon offsets generated from the post-retrofit energy savings. This paper evaluates the results of Duke’s pilot energy efficiency programs and makes recommendations for Duke and other employers implementing employee-based energy efficiency programs.