5/16/2019 1:51:15 PM
CARD Grant Program Update
The purpose of the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) Grant Program is to identify new technologies, strategies, and program approaches that utilities can implement to help achieve the annual state energy conservation goal of 1.5% as established by the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007.
Although prepaid electricity is common in some regions of the world, it is relatively new to the United States. What is the potential of this type of payment plan as an energy efficiency program? Preliminary evidence suggests that prepay customers reduce their consumption, but more evidence is required to determine how and why. Understanding what causes the reduction in consumption and investigating how low-income customers (which represent a large proportion of participants) respond to enrolling in the plan are key to determining whether prepay plans could be used as energy efficiency behavior change programs.
Prepay programs are controversial because some have argued that they cause a reduction in quality of life among low-income customers. Others have argued that the high level of customer satisfaction suggests that customers are not experiencing reduced quality of life. A recently completed CARD white paper conducted by two nonprofit research organizations, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Seventhwave, investigates these issues and provides recommendations for utilities interested in implementing prepaid electricity pilot research programs. Read more.
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