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Turning national retrofit policies into local action: examples from the US BBNP and the Canadian eco-energy programs

Gillich, A. and Mohareb, E. (2018) Turning national retrofit policies into local action: examples from the US BBNP and the Canadian eco-energy programs. In: 1st International Conference on New Horizons in Green Civil Engineering, April 25-27, 2018, Victoria, BC, pp. 220-224. (ISBN 9781550586206)

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Abstract/Summary

Improving energy efficiency in existing dwellings is critical in efforts to address climate change. National level retrofit policies are useful for delivering large volumes of funding with a coordinated program brand. However, for countries such as the US and Canada, energy issues vary considerably nationwide and are therefore governed at the state or provincial level. Finding ways to calibrate national level policy objectives and structures for effective delivery at the local level is a critical policy priority, but is poorly understood by policymakers and underrepresented in academic research. This paper addresses this gap by analysing the US Better Buildings Neighborhood Program (2010-2013), and the Canadian Eco-Energy Retrofit Program (2009-2013). Both of these programs were created with a national level overarching structure and objectives, but were implemented in different ways at the state/provincial and local levels. The impact evaluations of each program found that they were broadly successful at the national level. This paper considers how each program targeted local action along three themes. 1) Housing stock factors including population, social, and demographic issues inherent to the spatial distribution and fundamentally unchangeable. 2) Program design factors consider issues such as leveraging local funding and resource pools. 3) Program delivery factors include implementation strategies for driving demand and workforce engagement. The results suggest that demographic factors are not predictive of overall program success (measured as total upgrades and/or energy savings). Effective program design and implementation can compensate for housing stock factors. A set of best practice principles are described for adapting national level program structures for effective local program delivery.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Innovative and Sustainable Technologies
Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
ID Code:82494

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