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In February, DOE released the beta version of a user-friendly tool that estimates the cost-effectiveness of a residential energy efficiency program based on a program administrator’s inputs. Public utility commissions, and therefore utilities, use cost-effectiveness tests as one screen for determining funding decisions. Program designers, policy makers, utilities, architects, and engineers might also find the tool useful for refining, enhancing, or supporting residential energy efficiency programs.

This tool uses a single set of inputs to calculate the cost-effectiveness of implementing deep home energy efficiency upgrades and individual measures across the five most common cost-effectiveness tests. Program administrators can use the tool to view results for up to five different project types (i.e., measures implemented) at once and identify the number of homes to be targeted for residential upgrades over an entire program cycle. The tool easily allows users to view differences in results following changes to key inputs, to help identify the most significant factors affecting cost-effectiveness.