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By: Guillermo Salazar • 29 May 2024

Revolutionizing Home Energy Assessments: How IrisCx and EfficiencyOne are Leading the Charge


Revolutionizing Home Energy Assessments: How IrisCx and EfficiencyOne are Leading the Charge

The journey to net-zero emissions by 2050 requires innovative solutions to enhance energy efficiency in residential homes. Traditional home energy assessments, while thorough, come with challenges such as high costs, time consumption, and environmental impact. To address these issues, EfficiencyOne partnered with IrisCx to test remote energy assessments, yielding remarkable results.

The Challenge

EfficiencyOne, a leader in energy efficiency programs, has been at the forefront of promoting energy-efficient practices in Nova Scotia. However, the traditional method of conducting on-site home energy assessments presented several limitations. These assessments are not only costly and time-consuming but also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions due to travel requirements. Nova Scotia ranks #2 overall and #1 in efficiency according to Efficiency Canada's 2022 Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the need for a more efficient and scalable approach was evident.

Enter IrisCx: A Game-Changing Solution

IrisCx is a specialized video platform designed for remote service assessments. Its capabilities allow homeowners to connect seamlessly with Energy Advisors (EAs) through simple text message links, facilitating secure and interactive assessments. This innovative technology provided a foundation for EfficiencyOne to pilot remote energy assessments and explore their potential benefits.

The Test with EfficiencyOne

EfficiencyOne's collaboration with IrisCx focused on evaluating the effectiveness of two types of remote assessments: Level1 (Virtual Assessment) and Level2 (Video Assessment).
  • Level1 (Virtual Assessment): Utilizes publicly available data and electricity consumption data to provide high-level energy consumption estimates and upgrade recommendations.
  • Level2 (Video Assessment): Involves a video assessment conducted by an EA, offering more precise estimates and detailed upgrade recommendations based on homeowner inputs and visual inspections.

Success Metrics and Outcomes

The results of the pilot were compelling, demonstrating that remote assessments can significantly enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction.
  • Accuracy:
    • Level1 and Level2 assessments produced energy consumption estimates within 77% and 84% accuracy of traditional EnerGuide assessments, respectively.
    • Level2 assessments had a high agreement rate (60%-80%) with EnerGuide upgrade recommendations.
  • Efficiency:
    • Level2 assessments took significantly less time (around 30 minutes on average) compared to traditional assessments.
    • Homeowner enrollment rates were higher for remote assessments.
  • Customer Satisfaction:
    • Participants rated their experience with IrisCx’s video technology at 9.5 out of 10.
    • 80% of homeowners found the energy reports easy to understand.
  • Environmental and Cost Benefits:
    • Remote assessments reduced greenhouse gas emissions due to less travel.
    • Lower costs per assessment, enabling more resources to be allocated to homeowner incentives.
  • Quality Assurance and Compliance:
    • Remote assessments ensure high standards of quality assurance and compliance. The secure video recordings allow for detailed review and verification, ensuring that assessments meet regulatory and program requirements.

Benefits of Remote Audits

Remote audits offer several key benefits over traditional methods:
  • Efficiency: They significantly reduce the time required to complete an assessment, as seen in the pilot where Level2 assessments took around 30 minutes on average, EA's could peform around 16 audits per day with zero no-show costs.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Lower travel and operational costs make remote audits more economical.
  • Environmental Impact: By reducing the need for travel, remote audits help decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Quality Assurance: The ability to record and review assessments ensures high compliance with standards and allows for better oversight and verification.
  • Customer Convenience: Homeowners can participate in assessments without the need for in-home visits, making the process more flexible and less disruptive.

Real Stories: Customer and EA Experiences

Homeowners who participated in the pilot reported high satisfaction with the remote assessments. One participant remarked: "The video assessment was incredibly convenient and thorough. I felt more involved in the process and appreciated the clear, concise report." Energy Advisors found the IrisCx platform user-friendly and efficient, significantly reducing the time required for each assessment.

The Bigger Picture: Implications for the Future

The success of the pilot with EfficiencyOne highlights the potential for broader adoption of remote assessments. By integrating remote assessment technologies, energy efficiency programs can achieve better use of resources, accelerate the rate of home retrofits, and improve overall customer satisfaction. The findings suggest that remote assessments, particularly Level2 video assessments, should be considered as a standard practice for energy efficiency programs.The partnership between EfficiencyOne and IrisCx has demonstrated that remote energy assessments are not only viable but also highly effective. With significant improvements in efficiency, accuracy, customer satisfaction, and environmental benefits, remote assessments are set to revolutionize the way we approach home energy efficiency.For more detailed insights, you can read the full paper on Remote Energy Assessments for Residential Homes.

Learn More

To learn more about IrisCx and EfficiencyOne, visit their websites and explore how they are driving innovation in energy efficiency.

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