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Helping an energy efficiency program continue successfully during COVID

“Our partnership with MCR over the past decade has been exceptional and the success of this program during a very difficult time speaks to the high quality and innovative nature of what could have been a very rough year.”

—Senior Manager of Customer Programs


A mid-Atlantic utility selected MCR Performance Solutions, LLC (MCR) by competitive solicitation to implement a Public Agency Partnership Program (PAPP) and a Community Energy Efficiency Education Program (CEEP). The performance period started in 2016 and ended in 2021. MCR implemented both programs by providing program marketing, participant enrollment, program materials, project development and engineering services as well as facilitating project meetings, training, and logistical support.

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business leading to full or partial closure of educational and governmental institutions across the utility’s service territory. MCR’s implementation of the PAPP and CEEP programs was also interrupted. At that time, on-the-ground PAPP implementers observed unoccupied buildings with onsite operational and maintenance staff who suddenly had a much lighter workload due to workers/students not being able to use the premises.


MCR proposed, and the utility authorized, a PAPP Directed Self-Install program to retrofit these unoccupied buildings by providing energy efficient lighting at no cost, if participating customers agreed to install the products within 30 days. Key to the initiative, MCR negotiated the bulk purchase of Design Lights Consortium approved fluorescent lamp replacement LEDs with unit cost at or near the original rebate program unit incentive amount. As we began to implement the program, MCR observed a high interest in the supply chain suppliers to provide the LED lighting products. We also experienced a high degree of interest in the program by the utility’s customers.


Program launch was instantaneous and PAPP transitioned from an implementation fractured by a global pandemic to recording one of its strongest years in recent history. Over the 13 months of this program, MCR helped place over 220,000 4-foot LED lamps at over 100 customer sites. For the “CV-19 Lamps,” MCR reported almost 8,000 MWh savings, independently verified (to-date) at 130% with a Total Resource Cost (TRC) test cost-benefit ratio greater than 4.0:1.