ENERGY STAR® Retail Products Platform (RPP): Conditions and Considerations in Evaluating Market Transformation Programs and Evaluation Guidance for RPP
The purpose of this guide is to provide a resource for state utility regulators, utilities, the evaluation community and regulatory stakeholders on methods to measure energy savings from the ENERGY STAR Retail Products Platform. The guidelines outlined in this document were developed by evaluation experts.
The ENERGY STAR Retail Products Platform is a partnership between utilities across the country; retailers including Best Buy, Lowe’s, Kmart, Home Depot, Sears; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to leverage resources in support of reducing energy waste from consumer electronics. Under the program model, offered by utilities and other sponsors, participating retailers are provided a financial incentive for the sale of targeted product categories that meet program-defined efficiency criteria.
The ENERGY STAR Retail Products Platform is a newer program model. Deploying appropriate evaluation tools is critical to assessing the validity of long-term ratepayer investment in the program. This document provides guidance to ensure that the program model is evaluable, and includes descriptions of potential methodologies to compare program outputs and outcomes against program logic. This guide also discusses how evaluation methods can consider the accrual of savings over various time horizons.
No traditional impact evaluations have been completed on the ENERGY STAR Retail Products Platform as of the publication of this guide. Researchers have undertaken pilot evaluations, market-characterization research, baseline research, and assessments of market shifts but because of the newness of the program model, these efforts have not yet resulted in a prescriptive path for how to evaluate the program. That noted, the completed research and many of the existing tools in the industry’s evaluation toolbox – in addition to this guide – provide insight and strategies that can support program sponsors as they begin to plan their program evaluation activities.