The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has awarded more than $460 million in grants to support energy assistance, energy efficiency, and energy saving technologies. PPA's evaluation of the use and results of the grants provided the Commission with information to strategically enhance future grant-making and move the state toward a more energy efficient, green economy.
The MPSC administers the Low-Income Energy Efficiency Fund (LIEEF) through grants to qualifying organizations. The Fund’s purpose is to prevent utility shut-off and provide other protection for low-income Michigan residents and to promote energy efficiency by all customer classes. The commission asked PPA to determine the impact of the grant-funded programs on low-income households, energy conservation, environmental conservation, renewable energy technology, and the Michigan economy.
The PPA Team: The project was led by Dr. Nancy McCrohan.
Our Work: PPA reviewed three types of grants funded by LIEEF: Low-Income Energy Assistance grants; Low-Income Energy Efficiency grants; and Michigan Energy Efficiency grants, across multiple years. The work relied upon abstraction of information from grantee reports and other administrative documents, as well as site visits to selected grantees. Findings are focused on implementation (e.g., use of information technology and role of collaboration), outputs (e.g., amount of grant expended, number of households assisted, and types of retrofits), and outcomes (e.g., low-income household benefits, energy unit savings, and development of technologies). Analyses provided the client with insight into multiple aspects of grant-making, such as award criteria, grantee implementation challenges and best practices, technical support to grantees, and capacity for evaluation and measurement.
Results: PPA's independent evaluation provided the MPSC with data and analysis of the effectiveness of programs. The evaluation better positioned the agency to make data-driven decisions about the allocation of public resources.
Abstracting and analysis of administrative data