City of Bristol Energy Efficiency Assistance Program
In March 2014, TDEC provided a grant to the City of Bristol to design, develop, and deliver the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program (EEAP), which provided qualifying low-to-moderate-income homeowners with a free in-home energy evaluation, a customized implementation plan by the local utility (Bristol Tennessee Essential Services), and up to $20,000 per home in financial assistance to install recommended energy efficiency upgrades. EEAP was funded by a Clean Air Act settlement agreement between King Pharmaceuticals, LLC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and TDEC. OEP managed the grant contract and project for TDEC; the program’s period of performance ended in June 2016.
Under EEAP, a total of 47 homes were upgraded with the following energy savings measures:
- 442 window upgrades and/or replacements;
- 84 door upgrades and/or replacements;
- 21 refrigerator replacements;
- 8 carbon monoxide detector replacements;
- 24 home electrical upgrades;
- 43 home insulation replacements;
- 30 HVAC upgrades; and
- Installation of ENERGY STAR light bulbs for all program participants.
While the home retrofits have contributed to energy savings, other environmental and health benefits have been recognized over time. For example, some homes did not have working HVAC units, and residents struggled during extreme heat and cold conditions to adequately control the temperature in their home before the needed upgrades. Additionally, as a result of HVAC and other equipment installations, residents were able to discontinue the use of wood and coal stoves and kerosene heaters, which negatively affect air quality and human health.
Following the close of the program, OEP analyzed historic utility bill data to measure the impact of the projects on participating homeowners. While the results varied widely from home to home, the median home saw a reduction of 5% in overall electricity use. This reduction is especially encouraging considering that some homes, which previously used wood or kerosene for heat, received new heating systems powered by electricity, improving safety and air quality for the residents. Despite adding electrical load for heat, overall electricity use declined as a result of new efficiency measures. The graphs in the accordion below illustrate the energy usage of three homes before and after projects were completed; these graphs illustrate instances of significant electricity savings as a result of the energy efficiency retrofit.
Photo top right, "Weatherization," by Dennis Schroeder, NREL.