The Thousand Home Challenge is moving the category of recognition forward that represents "Half-way there".
There is consensus that this category not be the same as meeting the 1000 Home Challenge. We are not lowering the standard (approximately 70% above average) for meeting the Challenge.
There is much to learn from households that use half the energy as average Americans, In many cases, contrary to conventional energy efficiency wisdom, they often have cost-effective opportunities to further cut their energy use - in many cases substantially.
However, what do we call this new category of recognition?
How do we embrace this level of performance without diluting or confusing the brand?
How do we streamline the verification process?
What I need most are your comments on a name.
Please weigh in with additional name suggestions and your thoughts about this new development.
Thousand Home Challenge Lite?
On the Path?
Combination of the above?
Here's my use. This is roughly 4500 occupied sf - 2 family home with 3 people downstairs and 5 people up. 2 electric meters, one gas meter. The electric use shown is upstairs and includes electric car charging. I've recently sold my ICE - so the electric is now my only vehicle.
What would 50% of average usage BE for zip 14610?
This is a diversion. Nevertheless, back-of-envelope calcs:
THC threshold for your place: ~ 17500 kWh/year (all energy (including gas) included as kWh)
Assuming that's 30% of average, 50% of average would be: ~ 29000 kWh/year
Your numbers above (excluding 2nd electric meter), range from ~59000 kWh/year to ~71000 kWh/year
Hope this helps.
Just logged on and discovered Chris beat me to the response - Thanks Chris!
Here is my answer to Ted. Threshold calculator based on his inputs and use is attached.
1000 THRESHOLD EXPLANATION & SUMMARY
Your 1000 Home Challenge OPTION B threshold is 18,876 kWh/yr (site energy)
Your half-way 1000 Home Challenge threshold is 37.752 kWh/yr (site energy)
This assumes the following inputs are correct:
ZIP Code based weather station 14610 Rochester
8 full-time occupants (based on sleeping nights)
4,5000 Square feet (finished floor area - exterior dimensions
100% fossil fuel heat
Your partial use, without the full electricity use reflected is 59.509 kWh
(based on the period April 24, 2014 to April 23, 2015)
It is important to clarify that the OPTION B 1000 Home Challenge allowance comes out to be fairly close to reductions that are 70% better than average, however, the allowance does not use US residential energy use as the input.
Instead the OPTION B allowance is based on simple inputs - house size (FFA), ZIP code, # of occupants, heating source, whether or not the project is attached or detached, and # of households. These inputs are used to determine the allowance for heating, cooling, water heating, and everything else of a very efficient/high performance home and household. It assumes no renewables are in place.
We do not have an allowance for electric vehicles. The projects we have that charge electric vehicles meet the 1000 Home Challenge without subtracting their energy use for EV charging. We plan to come up with ways (maybe with badges or icons) to give credit to projects that attain performance above the 1000 Home Challenge such as net zero energy, EV charging, and possibly substantial food production or very low water use.
OPTION B is the threshold that all but 1 of our 26 projects have used. OPTION A is based on a 75% reduction of immediate verifiable previous energy use.
That is why the 1000 Home Challenge has two options for determining a project's threshold.
OPTION A is based on a 75% reduction of immediate verifiable previous energy use.
OPTION B does not use your energy use as an input - it is based on simple inputs - house size (FFA), ZIP code, # of occupants, heating source, whether or not the project is attached or detached, and # of households.
The numbers I provided were based on OPTION B; Your half-way 1000 Home Challenge threshold is 37,752 kWh/yr (site energy) which is based on OPTION B inputs, not previous energy use.
I'd vote transitioning the verification spreadsheet to a website would help streamline the process. I realize this is a substantial and expensive proposition.
I agree Chris - that is where we need to end up.
It may be possible to have the threshold calculator portion of the application online more quickly than the full application. That would make it easy for folks to log in and determine how close they come to meeting the 1000 Home Challenge.
Another faster option in the interim could be to post a You-Tube video on how to use the Threshold Calculator to determine your 1000 Home Challenge allowance.
I would rather have folks join in the Intro webinar, but posting the video could function as a screening and recruiting tool.
I like that idea. Giving people as many options to engage as possible (without overwhelming them) seems worthwhile. Some people probably find the spreadsheet intimidating.
I think we should get back to our discussion of whether the Thousand Home Challenge should embrace a two-tiered system. Personally, I think it is a great idea for a number of reasons.
1. It would get more people involved in the process. Easier to achieve cause 70% reductions are hard! More people are likely to try to achieve 50%.
2. It would be valuable to know how people met very significant 50% reductions even if they did not go on to reach deeper reductions - could have a broader impact.
3. Hopefully this would be a reward along the way, with more going on to achieve 70% with time once they are involved and can figure out next steps over time. So likely would have more in the pipeline for 70%.
Ultimately, we want to have an impact on average households, and this seems like a good way to do that.
I do agree that some clarity about the names would be good, and none of them yet quite explains this to me. It is important to keep the brand clear. Do others have ideas? By the way 1st Base makes more sense to me than 2nd Base! Maybe we need to be thinking about what a participant would say each level of participation in THC to come up with a good name. One thought is whether it is indeed "Along the Path" or whether it is a goal in and of itself? It is difficult to come up with a name when there are TWO challenges! It does confuse the brand.
Level 1: committed to participate/ try to meet the challenge : "We have enrolled in the Thousand Home Challenge and are working to achieve deep energy reductions."
Level 2: 50% reductions achieved: "We have achieved the THC challenge to reduce our energy use by 50%" vs "We have met the first level of the THC by reducing our energy use by 50%."
Level 3: 70-75% reductions "We have met the Thousand Home Challenge by reducing our energy use by 70%."
(Level 4: Net Zero?) As I think more THC houses are becoming net zero it would be nice to link that into THC.
Good points. I think it is easy enough to flag or designate projects that achieve NZE site energy as that is verified with the info submitted as part of the application. That doesn't confuse the brand. Meeting 50% can be either an end in itself or a household's goal.
We are lucky in a sense, since the Challenge is based on verifying a performance threshold, that this new category would indeed be 50%, of or 1/2 of that -- or approximately twice as good as average, There must be a way to build on that to come up with good name for the 50 percenters.
I sort of like these variations on the theme -
1000 Home Challenge Honorable Mention: Well Above Average
1000 Home Challenge Honorable Mention: 50% Above Average
1000 Home Challenge Honorable Mention: Half-way There
By using the phrase "Honorable Mention" it is clear that it is not the same as meeting the 1000 Home Challenge - However, it doesn't as effectively reflect the projects that are still in progress, with this designation being the half-way mark.