There is a high level of interest among utilities and other energy efficiency organizations in collaborating with local governments and community based organizations to deliver energy efficiency programs. This paper highlights the breadth of opportunities and identifies some of the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to leveraging community resources.
Strategies include targeting community’s internal energy use, green purchasing, financing to underwrite energy efficiency, and financing to motivate energy efficiency within the community. In addition, point of occupancy and point of sale strategies, advanced codes and standards, sustainable subdivisions and communities, and zero energy buildings and communities are discussed.
This paper suggests that levers to promote energy efficiency in local communities need to be carefully chosen with the characteristics and the capabilities of the communities in mind and with the recognition that the effectiveness of many of the levers is not well understood.