Delivering Energy Efficiency to Middle Income Single Family Households

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The question posed in this report is: How can programs motivate these middle income single family households to seek out more comprehensive energy upgrades, and empower them to do so?

Research methods included interviews with more than 35 program administrators, policy makers, researchers, and other experts; case studies of programs, based on interviews with staff and a review of program materials and data; and analysis of relevant data sources and existing research on demographics, the financial status of Americans, and the characteristics of middle income American households.

While there is no ‘silver bullet' to help these households overcome the range of barriers they face, this report describes outreach strategies, innovative program designs, and financing tools that show promise in increasing the attractiveness and accessibility of energy efficiency for this group. These strategies and tools should be seen as models that are currently being honed to build our knowledge and capacity to deliver energy improvements to middle income households. However, the strategies described in this report are probably not sufficient, in the absence of robust policy frameworks, to deliver these improvements at scale. Instead, these strategies must be paired with enabling and complementary policies to reach their full potential.

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