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A sample of our work, presentations, and publications is provided below.

If you would like to learn more, please let us know.

This consumer-focused study gathered information on: SFMI household distribution and characteristics, barriers to energy efficiency, desired services and products, and the best marketing and outreach options. Grounded Research reviewed census data, conducted in-depth interviews, and fielded a quantitative survey of more than 450 owner- and renter-occupied SFMI homes. We helped our client understand the size of this market, used an easy and quick technique to understand the range of costs consumers were willing to pay, and identified barriers faced by the population for the program’s products.  

This process evaluation provided BayREN with information to support the organization as they expanded their water bill savings pilot (capturing both water and energy savings) to a regional program. This effort included an in-depth review of program data, interviews with program staff, an online customer survey and in-depth interviews of customers to gather information about customer experience. Grounded Research worked closely with the program implementer to lay out the program theory and logic, align the theory with process findings, and provide ramifications for regional expansion. The report outlined the customer journey with suggested changes to improve difficult areas.

This impact evaluation provided gross and net impacts of a program that consisted of directly installed and incented measures. The impact analysis was two-fold; 1) application of technical reference manual information and verified installation and 2) a billing analysis using current and future participants. The results showed a difference between the two methods that was explored in future research. Through numerous additional studies we have also determined load impacts, including analyzing the at-the-meter impacts of programs and technologies such as for Time Of Use rates, Advanced Home Upgrade, SmartRate™, AC Cycling, rooftop PV, and electric vehicles.

This research effort helped to improve our client’s overarching operation and focus their portfolio of energy efficiency services. The evaluation team conducted a multi-level developmental evaluation that provided the client with rapid, real time feedback to support their adaptation to California’s dynamic energy efficiency environment. The evaluation was conducted in two stages: (1) Gathering and reviewing information to provide external evaluator feedback, and (2) Interactive efforts to guide the client as they considered their responses to the Stage 1 recommendations.

This study built on our experience with non-resource evaluations and the measurement of non-energy benefits. For this effort we delved deeply into the workforce arena; exploring how other organizations are measuring energy efficiency training efforts, likely training characteristics for behavioral change, and possible models for changing workplace practices. Based on information from across the nation, we provided the client with clarity and empowered the client to consider useful organizational changes.

This project led to the development of a brief to support developers of community-solar programs. Specifically, the research described four key steps including: (1) how to assess market needs (i.e., how to identify customer needs and perspectives), (2) how to draw on outside research, (3) how to mine internal customer data, and (4) how to gather additional information from customers to design a program that fits their needs. The final deliverable included a “Checklist” for Designers of Community Solar Programs.

This consulting-based project helped shape evaluation metrics at a sector level by working closely with utility staff involved in policy, program management, evaluation, and IT as well as multiple outside stakeholders. Using an iterative approach, we methodically brought structure to an expansive problem and arrive at targeted metrics that, when considered together, could help understand if the multi-million-dollar portfolio of programs were moving the in right direction.

Through this collaborative effort, Grounded Research worked with the Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories to design and implement a certificate in impact evaluation of energy efficiency programs. Grounded Research facilitated a seven-member steering committee that built on the DOE Phase 1 Scoping Study and ensured that the steering committee discussed and agreed to the content through several conference calls, updating information as needed based on the committee feedback. 

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