The Incentives Project

North American energy efficiency program sponsors spend approximately $7 billion a year on energy efficiency programs. By deploying more sophisticated incentive strategies, program sponsors may be able to increase the yield on their incentive budgets by as much as 20 percent. 

ICF and E Source are collaborating to launch the Incentives Project. This multi-sponsor project will explore lessons from academic research into consumer behavior and pricing/discounting theory and will create analytic models that simulate consumer response to a broad range of traditional and innovative incentive strategies. Our comprehensive study will include:

  1. Conducting detailed interviews with key actors in the supply chain.

  2. Identifying where in the customer purchase journey incentives are most influential.

  3. Conducting original market research to determine customer tradeoffs between product attributes and incentive offers.

  4. Developing sophisticated tools that permit optimization of program incentive budgets.

Our goal is to take the industry beyond antiquated applications of payback acceptance curves and develop technology-specific elasticities that reveal customers’ true willingness-to-pay for efficiency. Questions we will help you address include:

  • How might my incentives strategies be improved going forward?

  • What will happen to participation if I change my incentive strategy?

  • How can I demonstrate the prudence of my incentive strategy to stakeholders and regulators?

  • How do I apply these learnings to my programs today?

Note: The project is only open to utilities, state program administrators, and manufacturers. 

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