National Rural Electric Cooperative Association | Numerous Research Publications

Collaborative Efficiency provides research and technical writing for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s technology research arm: the Cooperative Research Network (CRN).  CRN conducts research to accelerate technological innovation among electric cooperatives. Approximately 900 electric cooperatives across the United States have exclusive access to CRN research papers. Collaborative Efficiency is currently researching technologies, programs, and policies intended to promote energy efficiency. Paper topics include:


  • How the Non-Energy Benefits of Energy Efficiency Can Help Co-ops (September 2013)

  • A Commercial and Industrial Opportunity for Co-ops: Energy Management and Energy Teams (January 2014)

  • A Consumer’s Guide to an Energy Efficient New Home (February 2014)

  • The Current State of Home Energy Monitoring Devices and Applications (February 2014)

  • Guide to Implementing a Trade Ally Program (March 2014)

  • Co-ops Can Improve the Energy Performance of New Homes (April 2014)

  • Leading by Example with a LEED Commercial Building (April 2014)

  • Low-Cost Energy Use Monitoring (April 2014)

  • How Are Third-Parties Impacting the Cooperative-Member Relationship? (June 2014)

  • Behavior Energy Efficiency Programs: Volume 1 – An Overview (July 2014)

  • Behavior-Based Energy Efficiency Programs: Volume 2 – Examples of Real World Behavioral Efficiency Programs (August 2014)

  • Building Automation Systems: An Energy Management Solution for Commercial Buildings (October 2014)

  • Behavior-Based Energy Efficiency Programs: Volume 3 – Designing Implementing, and Evaluating (September 2014)

  • How Will Heat Pump Water Heaters Perform in Demand Response Programs? (November 2014)

  • Fleet Electrification 101 (November 2014)

  • A Guide to Adopting Plug-in Electric Vehicles to Your Fleet (November 2014)

In production:

  • Smart HVAC Demand Response

  • Electric vehicle series; Collaborative Efficiency is currently wrapping up a major research project on electric vehicles. Our work will be published in a series of three in-depth reports in early 2015. The first report provides a general overview of electric vehicles, describing how they work and the growing electric vehicle marketplace. The second looks at both the current and potential financial and grid impacts of electric vehicles. The third and final report serves as a planning guide for co-ops interested in developing an electric vehicle program and/or promoting electric vehicles.

Click here for more in-depth descriptions of our research publications for NRECA.

Clean Energy Works | Assessing Options with Oregon Consumer Owned Utilities (COUs)

Clean Energy Works (CEW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a comprehensive support program for whole-house energy efficiency retrofits. The program has been popular in the more populated areas of Oregon and CEW now has a mandate from the Oregon legislature to provide services statewide. CEW hired Collaborative Efficiency to assess the situation and make recommendations on how to develop working relationships with COUs that will further whole house efficiency. CE is also exploring possibilities for securing funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service for a consolidated energy efficiency financing program.

Environmental and Energy Study Institute | Supporting On-Bill Financing

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), a Washington DC based nonprofit, selected Collaborative Efficiency to be part of their expert consultant team that is supporting the establishment of on-bill financing programs for electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in the fall of 2014. CE participated in shaping and launching the EESI team’s support effort. CE’s tasks thus far have included a comparison of energy audit software for a North Carolina co-op and helping the U.S. Department of Energy organize a series of webinars about the Rural Utility Service Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program.

Inland Power and Light | Designing an Energy Efficiency Loan Program

In 2014, Collaborative Efficiency assisted Inland Power and Light in developing an application for low interest funding from the Rural Utility Service’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). The EECLP, launched by the Department of Agriculture in December 2013, provides rural electric utilities with up to $250 million in financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This work was supported by the Washington State Department of Commerce to demonstrate how publicly owned utilities can launch on-bill financing programs.  CE’s efforts enabled Inland Power to receive preliminary approval of the loan from RUS staff, only the third co-op in the country to achieve this status. Inland, however, decided it would be simpler and easier to self-fund the loan program, and has hired CE to help prepare the new program for launch by Spring of 2015.

Avista | Facilitating the Energy Conservation Advisory Group Meeting

Pat Keegan was hired by Avista to prepare for and facilitate a meeting of their Energy Conservation Advisory Group in October 2014. This advisory group has been meeting for over 20 years, which may be the longest run of this type of group anywhere in the country. The advisory group meets several times each year, reviewing Avista’s plans and monitoring program performance. It is made up of energy efficiency experts from around the Northwest and regulatory agency staff from Washington and Oregon.

Central Electric Power Cooperative and the Electrical Cooperatives of South Carolina | Help My House Pilot Program Final Summary Report

Pat Keegan was the lead author of a June 2013 report summarizing a groundbreaking on-bill financing program pilot in South Carolina. He led the planning for this pilot in 2011 while at Ecova, and served as the implementation contract manager in 2011 and 2012. The report described a detailed impact analysis that found that the Help My House retrofits were cost-effective. Homeowners that borrowed this money cut their energy bills more than enough to cover loan repayments. The report has been widely disseminated throughout the electric cooperative community and in Washington D.C. where policy makers have drawn upon the findings to support policies and programs to support on-bill financing for energy efficiency programs.

In December, 2013 the Department of Agriculture announced the launch of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). This new program is modeled in part after the South Carolina program and provides an initial $250 million per year in federal loans and financial assistance to support energy efficiency programs operated by rural electric cooperatives and other rural utilities.

Midwest Energy | How$mart Program Review

How$mart is the leading whole-home on-bill financing program among the nation’s 900 electric cooperatives. Pat Keegan provided a review of this program in an effort to improve cost-effectiveness, improve customer service and enhance quality and value. The review also provided recommendations for quantifying the savings of energy efficiency services. The review was completed in October 2013 and recommendations are being implemented.

Solutions for Energy Efficiency Logistics | DTE Energy Home Energy Consultation Program Planning

Solutions for Energy Efficiency Logistics (SEEL), an energy efficiency implementation contractor in Michigan, hired Collaborative Efficiency to engage Pat Keegan’s support in planning the 2014-2015 Home Energy Consultation Program. Pat led the planning for this direct install energy efficiency program while serving as the VP of Residential Programs at Ecova was partnered with SEEL during the 2010 pilot program and served briefly as the pilot program manager. During its first three years of operation, the Home Energy Consultation Program serviced an unprecedented 95,000 homes in the Metropolitan Detroit area.

City of Seattle | Department of Energy Grant Writing

Christine Grant assisted the City of Seattle in designing a $200 million energy efficiency retrofit program. As part of this process, she helped facilitate a one­ month series of collaborative meetings with dozens of stakeholders to design the program. She then played a key role writing a successful Department of Energy grant application for $20 million to fund the program.

Seattle City Light | Powerful Neighborhoods Direct Install Program

Christine Grant, in collaboration with Ecova and Cascadia Consulting Group, helped design and manage a Seattle City Light initiative to install energy and water conservation devices in approximately 20,000 low-income, senior, and non-English speaking households. Christine supported program design, engaged and briefed numerous stakeholders and partners, co-led installer trainings, supported marketing efforts, and conducted program reporting. The program achieved over 95% customer satisfaction. Christine presented program outcomes at the Affordable Comfort Institute Northwest Conference in 2011.

Community Power Works | Residential Energy Upgrade Program Management

Christine Grant, while working with a team from Cascadia Consulting Group, helped coordinate multiple aspects of designing and implementing a residential energy upgrade programs for Seattle’s $20 million Better Buildings grant—Community Power Works. Christine played a key role in the launch of Community Power Works, performed analysis for a revised rebate structure for program, wrote program marketing copy and blog posts. She also placed radio and print advertisements and successfully pursued earned media opportunities. Christine engaged targeted sub-sectors (e.g., the non-profit community and real estate community) in program promotion.

The Northwest Energy Coalition | Analysis of Energy Efficiency Financing Options

Christine Grant served as the Principal Researcher for a study commissioned by the Northwest Energy Coalition (NWEC) to identify strategies for financing energy efficiency projects in the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Working with a team of financial experts, Christine analyzed a suite of energy efficiency financing options.  Research methods included a comprehensive literature review, in-depth program surveys, and expert interviews to identify and evaluate a broad range of existing energy efficiency financing options across the country. The final report can be viewed here.

Collaborative Efficiency Papers and Presentations
  • Association of Energy Service Professionals, Spring 2013 Conference.  Co-presented “Cooperatives and On-bill Financing:  Many Approaches to ‘Billed’ On”

  • Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina Summer Conference, June, 2013.  Helped organize and then moderated the panel “Help My House:  S.C. Co-ops Set Their Direction on Energy Efficiency”

  • Northwest Energy Coalition Conference, November, 2013.  Helped organize and then moderated a panel

  • Association of Energy Service Professionals Webinar

  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Webinar