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CRE Investments in Energy Efficiency During a Recession

We are excited to announce that Waypoint Energy’s paper, “Getting Ahead of the Next Recession: Leveraging Utility Energy Efficiency Incentives to Prepare for an Economic Downturn” has been published by ACEEE for the 2020 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

Given the growing uncertainty around the economy and impact on commercial building customers, we wanted to know how an economic downturn might affect building owners and managers’ motivations to participate in energy efficiency programs. What impact have previous recessions had on the commercial real estate (CRE) sector’s participation in energy efficiency programs? Do participation barriers vary depending on the economy? How can utilities adapt their engagement strategies to increase customer engagement during times of instability?

To find out, Waypoint dove deep into market research and program evaluation reports; but the real insight came from our interviews with 10 CRE stakeholders. Soon after submitting our draft to ACEEE, the COVID-19 Coronavirus became a global pandemic. COVID-19 introduced a new kind of recession – the byproduct of global lock-downs to stop the spread of the virus, versus a financial market crisis. As a result, preliminary findings from the COVID-19 economic downturn were incorporated to supplement our discoveries regarding a “normal” economic recession.

Despite the impetus of either economic scenario, our research revealed impactful ways that utilities can adjust engagement strategies in response to challenges that their customers are facing and will need continuous support on. To read the full paper, visit our Publications page.

Has your program or investment strategy been impacted by COVID-19? Contact our team to share your story.


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