Analysis & Projections

Analysis of Energy Efficiency Program Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) Reports: Residential Space Cooling and Commercial Lighting Measures

Release date: March 27, 2014


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducted a one-time inventory of evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) reports in 2013 to research general cost information in state-mandated energy efficiency program evaluations. Using the one-time inventory as a sampling frame for further analyses, the end-use services of residential space cooling and commercial lighting were selected for continued research and analysis. EIA targeted these end-use services because both end uses are prevalent services throughout the United States and for their popularity in both new and maturing energy efficiency incentive programs.

Energy efficiency program budgets have rapidly expanded, and in many states program budgets now approach supply-side capital investment in scale.1 But the high variability of energy efficiency programs, the lack of lengthy track records, and the difficulty of measuring their benefits make analyzing these programs challenging, particularly in comparing them across states or across energy service areas. A large number of programs are currently generating an ever-growing number of EM&V studies and many entities are developing tools and suggesting approaches that can be applied nationwide to improve consistency of reporting in this area. In this contracted report, EIA seeks to compare results, address its analytic and modeling needs, and also provide a resource for studying reporting techniques used in energy efficiency programs across the country.

The National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) is the primary technical system used by EIA and the federal government for domestic, long-term energy forecasting and analysis. This report supports enhancement of the Residential Demand Module (RDM) and Commercial Demand Module (CDM), which are major components of NEMS that project energy consumption for marketed energy sources plus distributed solar and geothermal energy. Both the RDM and CDM include projections of energy consumption by end-use service through 2040.2

The contracted report includes data collection methodology and analysis of efficiency measures associated with residential space cooling and commercial lighting end uses, as well as a normative analysis of the data available in sampled EM&V reports. As could be expected given the relatively sparse and inconsistent data, results are not conclusive, although they do suggest that increased program spending is associated with greater consumer investment. At EIA's request, the contracted report includes specific areas where EM&V reporting could be made more useful for the types of analysis that EIA conducts, as well as methodological discussion that could be of interest for other researchers.

Proper citation of this report is requested—i.e., prepared by Leidos Engineering, LLC for the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

See complete report

1Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), Growth Trends in the Energy Efficiency Industry, Forster, Hilary; Wallace, Patrick; Dahlberg, Nick, April 5, 2013, website, accessed March 5, 2014.

2Additional information on EIA's modeling of residential and commercial energy projections can be found in the RDM and CDM model documentations, located at