With funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP) to invest in long-term energy savings by helping consumers replace older, inefficient appliances with new, efficient models. From 2009 to 2015, D+R International supported DOE in coordinating the design and implementation of the $300 million SEEARP, the first national appliance rebate program for residential consumers.
In the first phase of the project, D+R helped determine qualified products, cost-effective rebate levels, and appropriate approval processes for 56 U.S. states and territories. D+R also worked with stakeholders from manufacturing, retail, utility, and state groups to coordinate product supply, obtain technical support, address key concerns, and incorporate their input.
In the second phase of the project, D+R provided direct technical assistance to the 56 State and Territory Energy Office representatives, advising them on meeting DOE requirements for plan submission, analyzing products and rebate levels, and facilitating dialogues about plan administration and execution, including establishing product recycling efforts for used appliances.
In the third phase of SEEARP, D+R assisted DOE with program close-out and final reporting. D+R’s team developed multiple data tools to monitor and track state programs and methodologies to gather the data, as well as a customized database to track, calculate, and report the energy and monetary savings for nearly 1.8 million rebates in 14 product categories. D+R used these tools to help DOE ensure state compliance with ARRA requirements and to estimate energy, water, and dollar savings.
The successes and challenges of SEEARP provide valuable lessons for designing and running a consumer-focused appliance rebate program. In addition to the SEEARP reports database, two reports provide a results and program design lessons. Highlights of the reports include:
More information about SEEARP and the final reports are available at http://en.openei.org/doe-opendata/dataset/state-energy-efficient-appliance-rebate-program-seearp-reports-database.