Introducing SMART Scale

SMART Scale grew out of Ecology Action’s long history of designing and delivering highly effective Small and Medium Business energy efficiency programs. Our success with this audience grabbed the attention of the US Department of Energy who awarded us a $2 million grant in 2013 to market-test, refine and quantify our program model — then share it with implementers like you.

SMART Scale is a small commercial deep retrofit program that includes upgrades to lighting, HVAC, and refrigeration equipment. It’s a “one-stop”,turnkey package of services that can capture a 20% minimum savings goal from baseline while still achieving acceptable overall program costs.

Small to medium-sized business customers are vitally important to our economy. These business primarily occupy smaller buildings that represent a largely untapped market for energy efficiency programs. The newest data shows that commercial buildings under 50,000 square feet are 94% of the commercial sector and almost half of the floor space in the U.S. However, the direct installation programs that have traditionally served this sector have failed to provide a retrofit approach with comprehensive services that can achieve greater energy reductions at scale. Free audits and generous rebates are not sufficient to encourage customers to pursue deeper retrofits. Designing a successful retrofit program that can address the unique barriers faced by the SMB sector and achieve a greater impact requires an evolution from traditional programs.

The SMART Scale model combines several essential program elements and delivery tactics that can overcome SMB market barriers and exceed the conventional results achieved with traditional direct install (DI) programs. Ecology Action is a 46-year-old nonprofit energy consulting firm providing energy efficiency program delivery services. The model builds upon Ecology Action’s extensive experience providing over 16,000 turnkey energy retrofit services resulting in over 520 GWh of energy savings in the SMB sector since 2002. Ecology Action’s SMB direct install energy retrofit model has been delivered across California utilities the past 14 years including Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU), and most recently as the SMARTScale model at Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD).

The following SMART Scale toolkit includes lessons learned over the course of delivering the program that are shared as the steps to help develop and deliver a first-rate SMB program. First the program operations are outlined, followed by field delivery and finally, the critical program tools.  We recommend downloading and following along with the comprehensive Implementation Guide that is included below.

We’re excited to share the SMARTScale program with you.  Let’s begin.

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