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Certificate of Excellence – Foundations of Impact Evaluation

CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE - FOUNDATIONS OF IMPACT EVALUATION

In cooperation with the United States Department of Energy, AESP Institute is proud to launch an in-depth training program on DSM program impact evaluation.  Upon completion of all necessary coursework and meeting other requirements, participants will receive AESP’s “Certificate of Excellence – Foundations of Impact Evaluation.”

Target Audience

The Certificate of Excellence - Foundations of Impact Evaluation Course is designed with new evaluation staff in mind, those with less than 3 years’ experience in the energy industry. Its alternatives are a formal in-house training program, or more commonly “learning-on-the-job” where a supervisor or colleague guides new staff over several months or years.

Ideal candidates for this program include new staff entering a research and evaluation function in DSM consultancies, consultancies that specialize in research and evaluation, government, state and regional energy organizations and large utilities with in-house evaluation needs (National Grid, etc.).

Delivery

This course will be delivered in two parts:

Course 1:
Delivered online. Self-paced. The online course takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete and will be made available 6 weeks prior to the in-person training.

Course 2 and group project:
Course participants will meet in-person for 2 days in a city and date that will have been pre-determined before the start of the course. Here they will attend live lectures to complete Course 2, then work collaboratively with a team to complete a group project.

Cost

Online Course 1 In-Person Course 2:

Member Price: $699 USD, or (4) Group Member points
Non-Member Price: $899 USD

 

Online Course 1:

Member Price: $275 USD, or (1) Group Member point
Non-Member Price: $325 USD

Click here to purchase the online course


2020 Cohorts:

Waltham, MA - June 17-18, 2020

Register


Course Outline

The Foundations of Impact Evaluation Certificate course covers the basics of the energy industry and demand-side management industry, before diving into the principles of program impact evaluation.

In this cohort-based program, participants enroll at the same time as their peers and experience the learning journey together (communicating via an online discussion board and eventually meeting in person), culminating in a final project which they complete as a team. To earn the certificate you must complete both courses and the group project.

  1. EE Programs
    • EE programs, their basic purpose, components, and functioning
    • History of EE programs and why EE programs were originally created
    • Basics of the utility business including load profiles, obligation to serve, load duration curves, load factors, rudimentary rate making (which includes differentiation between fixed and variable costs)
    • Different types of EE and DER programs and purposes of each, savings taxonomy (e.g. portfolios, programs, projects, measures)
    • Compare demand-side and supply-side resources, IRPs, and common cost-effectiveness assessments (e.g. California Standard Practice Manual and National Standard Practice Manual)
    • Types of customers and participants (i.e., various utility sectors and their customer characteristics)
    • Players within the EE program sphere and the political realities of each
    • Types of regulatory bodies and how they interact with EE programs

     

  2. Program Evaluation in General
    • Foundations of program evaluation e.g. standards, guidelines, principles, competencies, approaches, and theories.   
    • Key program evaluation concepts e.g. evaluability, impacts, processes, worth, etc.
    • How evaluation and EE programs interact; how evaluation timing may affect a program
    • The different goals of evaluation
    • Types of evaluation associated with EE/Demand Response/Distributed Energy Resource programs e.g. impact, process
    • Evaluation standards/guidelines e.g. the JCSEE standards and the AEA guidelines
    • Roles and relationships of the evaluator in the program design/implementation/evaluation cycle, in regard to regulators and program administrators
    • What is included in evaluation frameworks

     

  3. EE Impact Evaluation
    • Methodology that grounds inquiry in program evaluation practice   
    • Key EE impact evaluation terms such as effective useful life, net and gross energy, and non-energy impacts
    • Various impact designs, when to apply them, and tools of each e.g. quasi-experimental, experimental designs
    • Counterfactual, and how baselines are related to the counterfactual
    • EE evaluation resources e.g. SEE Action publications, Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs), etc.
    • Relationships and differences between impact evaluations and cost effectiveness evaluations, process evaluations, or market evaluations

     

  4. Key Impact Evaluation Methods and Tasks
    • Appropriate methods, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (to the extent practical, absent significant professional experience)
    • How to plan an impact evaluation and the tasks that must occur prior to choosing or implementing any impact method e.g. research goals, questions, etc.
    • How a sampling frame can affect an impact evaluation
    • Different types of impact evaluation approaches/methods along with their uses, strengths, limitations, risks, and relative costs
    • Important tasks within four key impact methods
    • Complications that may arise during each task of estimating energy savings
    • Savings persistence and savings interactions
    • Relationship between evaluation costs, accuracy, and timeliness
    • Relative precision, absolute precision, and accuracy, as well as the differences in each

     

  5. Framing the Evaluation  
    • Appropriate evaluation purposes
    • Evaluation questions
    • How evaluation goals and research questions support choice of impact method(s)
    • What a report should include and how to structure a report depending on the audience
    • How to write about sampling and non-sampling errors within a report

Group Project

The AESP Foundations of Impact Evaluation group project directly reinforces the information learned in the training and requires individuals to apply these skills to a real-world professional scenario. It is worked on collaboratively as a team and must be completed to receive the Foundation of Impact Evaluation certificate.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Understand the demand side management industry, including its basic purpose, components, and function.
  • Identify the purpose of evaluation, measurement and verification.
  • Understand and apply foundational program impact evaluation knowledge that grounds and guides professional practice.
  • Identify and define program impact evaluation methodology terms.
  • Demonstrate the ability to frame impact evaluation questions.
  • Determine appropriate impact evaluation methods, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

CEUs

CEU credits will be awarded upon completion of the course requirements.

Course 1 (Online): 0.4 CEUs
Course 2 (In-person): 0.7 CEUs
Total: 1.1 CEUs



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