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Conducting a nationwide market scan to help a small gas utility chart a course for development of its first EE plan


A small Mid-Atlantic gas utility had never run formal energy efficiency (EE) programs when legislation in one of its states required the utility to develop an EE plan, vet it through various stakeholder processes, and file it with the regulator. Being small and lacking EE experience, the client knew it did not want to start from scratch but also did not have sufficient knowledge of what gas EE programs were in the market already or what products and services these programs provided. The client called on MCR to help it build knowledge, understand its programmatic options, and chart a course toward potential development and filing of its first EE plan.


Given the client’s size, situation, and available budget, rather than lead the client down the usual path of undertaking an EE potential study and a program design process, MCR undertook a broad market scan to identify nationwide measures, incentive structures and levels, and program designs, which resulted in discovering 37 gas measures currently in the field. Program delivery structures included downstream, upstream, midstream, and direct install. A sample of these measures is in the table below:

Gas EE Measures
Furnace and boiler sizing, equipment and tune-upsWater restriction devices
Per unit (therm, ccf, etc.) custom or performance-based incentivesVarious heating and water heating system controls
Gas heating and water conversionProgrammable/WiFi thermostats
Gas-fired absorption heat pumpCommercial kitchen equipment
Infrared heating systemsWater heating systems
Various insulation and weatherization measuresWindows


MCR provided our client a clear understanding of the measure and program options currently being offered in the market. This, in turn, led the client to begin assessing what measures would be most beneficial and market-accepted by its customer base and what incentive levels and program types would best fit its budget. Once a direction is established, the client looks forward to engaging the state’s EE planning advisory stakeholder body with credibility and significant knowledge.