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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Evaluation of Nebraska Energy Office’s Weatherization Program

The Nebraska Energy Office’s Weatherization Program enables low-income families in Nebraska to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. For this project, the Public Policy Center worked with the Raikes School of Computer Science and Management and the Bureau of Sociological Research to examine the impacts of these improvements and investments by estimating their annual and cumulative energy savings, measured in dollars and energy use. These impacts were generated through a combination of job and output increases in improvement supported sectors and losses in energy production sectors. Estimations of the annual and cumulative environmental impacts associated with reductions in greenhouse gases and other emissions were obtained.

Since energy use depends on weather, the first step in the analysis was to break the state into weather zones. Once the zones were identified, initial samples of loans were developed for each of the major improvement types and each of the customer classes. The University of Nebraska’s Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR) surveyed individuals from those samples to determine if their businesses, households and/or living conditions changed materially up to 12 months either before or after the improvements and if so, these structures were filtered from the sample. Energy consumption for the filtered samples was obtained from local utilities for the 12 months before and after each improvement and will be compared to expected energy use. The combined data allowed us to measure the energy savings associated with each investment, which was then translated into dollar savings. A cost calculator was developed to estimate energy savings in the future.

For additional information about the evaluation project, the survey that was conducted as a part of this evaluation, or the weatherization program, please send an email to
mdekraai@nebraska.edu.

Key Partners

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Funding

Staff Researchers