Characterizing “Hard to Reach” Energy Users: A Behavioral Lens

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently published a “Hard to Reach” (HTR) Characterization, as part of an ongoing project aimed at ensuring that the benefits of energy efficiency programs reach all energy users uniformly and equitably. CEE and the US Department of Energy (DOE) jointly represent the United States in this HTR Annex, run by the UsersTCP through IEA. This HTR Characterization details audiences and related barriers identified by CEE members and international peers, and serves as a crucial first step in developing a common HTR nomenclature. In the subsequent years of this project, the HTR Characterization will be the foundation on which future case studies are based. Ultimately, this HTR project will enhance our collective understanding of which behavioral techniques have worked well to engage specific HTR customers abroad, with the goal of informing and improving how energy efficiency programs are designed and evaluated in the US and Canada in instances where similar customer types and comparable program activity exist.

For more information about this project, contact Kira Ashby, Senior Program Manager for Behavior, at

About CEE
CEE is an award-winning consortium of efficiency program administrators from the United States and Canada. Members work to unify program approaches across jurisdictions to increase the success of efficiency in markets. By joining forces at CEE, individual electric and gas efficiency programs are able to partner not only with each other, but also with other industries, trade associations, and government agencies. Working together, administrators leverage the effect of their ratepayer funding, exchange information on successful practices and, by doing so, achieve greater energy efficiency for the public good.

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