Home Energy Efficiency Gets a Boost from Remote Assessments

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Published On
Dec 17, 2021

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Washington, D.C., remotely assessing a home’s energy efficiency gained popularity during the last year and a half, and the trend is likely to outlast the pandemic. This could ultimately lead to more homes getting efficiency upgrades—great news for ECs.

ACEEE’s “Remote Home Energy Assessments” was released in December 2021. For its analysis, ACEEE researchers gathered raw customer satisfaction data from seven energy assessment providers and conducted its own independent survey of nearly 350 Tennessee Valley Authority customers who received an assessment.

Remote assessments typically require the homeowner to use a device with a camera (usually a mobile phone) to walk the assessor through the home while they collect pertinent data. The assessor then explains the findings and recommendations to the homeowner, either directly after the assessment or in a follow-up call a few days later, usually including a summary report for future reference.

The remote assessment process is relatively simple from the homeowner’s perspective, with the assessor handling all the software inputs and data collection using home energy modeling tools to estimate energy consumption and possible areas for improvement. Some programs and assessors also use additional data such as utility bill and weather data, home geometry data gathered using software tools or any other information collected in advance.

In analyzing the data, the ACEEE concluded that remote assessments are popular with younger, more tech-savvy customers and are a great way for utilities to get this segment of their customers on the path to making efficiency retrofits. The report finds that customers who choose remote assessments are generally satisfied with them and usually complete follow-up actions.

According to ACEEE, remote assessments caught on during the COVID-19 pandemic because they allowed companies to continue providing assessment services while preserving jobs. Customers were also open to the option because it allowed them to get an assessment while still observing COVID-19 protocols. The report notes that even as in-person assessments are becoming feasible again, the option to have a home evaluated remotely is beneficial to utilities because it creates opportunities to serve hard-to-reach customers.

For these reasons and more, the report concludes that remote assessments can expand the reach of energy efficiency assessments and help the current administration meet its goal of weatherizing 2 million homes over four years.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at richardlaezman@msn.com.

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