Residential New Construction

The R8 Programs all focused on whole-building performance. This focus reflects the fact that new construction presents a unique opportunity to capture energy efficiency gains through increased attention to integrated design and overall construction quality. Once a home is built, further cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities are limited to select technology upgrades, either as retrofits or as part of routine replacement. Energy efficiency in new construction is a particular challenge to program designers because of the pervasive split incentive barrier (i.e., the party responsible for energy efficiency decisions is not the one who will ultimately reap related benefits). The R8 Programs all adopted a strong market transformation emphasis, even when quantifying and offering incentives for direct energy impacts for resource acquisition purposes. The market transformation focus led to several program themes that transect program components: private sector support, combined supply-side/demand-side strategy, and program brand equity.

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