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Analysis & Projections

Assessing Existing Energy Efficiency Program Activity

Release date: June 18, 2018

Given the increasing prevalence of energy efficiency (EE) activity and development of state-level energy efficiency resource standards (EERSs), understanding the effects that EE programs have on energy consumption and technology choice within buildings in the United States is important. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) contracted with ICF Incorporated, LLC (ICF) to identify and characterize a variety of EE incentives available from state efficiency organizations and electric and natural gas utilities. These incentives are used to develop analytic assumptions and modeling structure within EIA’s National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) residential demand module (RDM) and commercial demand module (CDM).

EIA and others use NEMS to produce long-term projections of energy use within the United States. Given its role in analyzing future EE policies, EIA has implemented explicit characterization and modeling of EE to improve projections of energy consumption in buildings. ICF reviewed existing state and utility studies and literature to identify available EE program data. ICF used Form EIA-861, Annual Electric Power Industry Report, to identify and prioritize utilities across the nine U.S. census divisions based on total energy savings. They also conducted research to establish technology-level rebates for specific technologies within end uses such as space heating and cooling, water heating, and lighting. Combined with other sources, this report allows EIA to adjust residential and commercial model inputs to account for historical EE activity and to project effects of EE activity into the future.

Incentives, in the form of equipment subsidies or rebates, are deducted from installed equipment costs for high-efficiency equipment—namely, those equipment types or appliances that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® specifications—in RDM and CDM technology choice menus. This approach lowers the relative cost of efficiency adoption when consumers choose between equipment that meets federal minimum EE standards and equipment that is more efficient.

When referencing the contract report, it should be cited as a report by ICF Incorporated, LLC prepared for the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

 

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