A financing report that was prepared for CIEE, the CPUC and the VEIC by Merrian Fuller of Energy & Resources Group at UC Berkeley presents a study of energy efficiency programs that reduce first-cost barriers in the residential sector. From the report:
Energy efficiency has a vital role to play in addressing our daily resource needs and creating a vibrant future for our society. This paper focuses on the first-cost barriers to increased energy efficiency in residential homes. Loans and other financing options will be important to enable the efficiency improvements to meet many of the goals of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. This study reviews existing, terminated, and proposed financing programs and reveals several limitations of these programs including: limited applicability of the programs to households most in need, low participation rates, difficulty assuring that savings will exceed payments, limited support for comprehensive energy retrofits, the inability of many programs to cover their costs, and issues particular to on-bill financing (OBF) programs.
A full copy of the report can be downloaded here