Guide for Conducting Energy Efficiency Potential Studies

Importance of Conducting Energy Efficiency Potential Studies
Improving energy effi ciency in our homes, businesses, schools, governments, and industries—which consume more than 70 percent of the natural gas and electricity used in the country—is one of the most constructive, cost-effective ways to address the challenges of high energy prices, energy security and independence, air pollution, and global climate change. Despite these benefi ts and the success of energy effi ciency programs in some regions of the country, energy effi ciency remains critically underutilized in the nation’s energy portfolio. It is time to take advantage of more than two decades of experience with successful energy effi ciency programs, broaden and expand these efforts, and capture the savings that energy effi ciency offers. Conducting a potential study provides key information to inform policies and approaches to advance energy effi ciency.
The National Action Plan for Energy Effi ciency was released in July 2006 as a call to action to bring diverse stakeholders together at the national, regional, state, or utility level, as appropriate, and foster the discussions, decision-making, and commitments necessary to take investment in energy effi ciency to a new level. This Guide directly supports the Action Plan recommendation to “make a strong, long-term commitment to implement cost-effective energy effi ciency as a resource.” A key option to consider under this recommendation is establishing the potential for long-term, cost-effective energy effi ciency savings (see page 1-2 for a full listing of options to consider under each Action Plan recommendation). Conducting a potential study supports this option and provides critical data for the design of policies and programs aimed at increasing investment in energy effi ciency, including:
Setting attainable energy savings targets.
Quantifying the energy effi ciency resource for system planning.
Determining funding levels for delivering energy effi ciency programs.
Designing programs to achieve the long-term potential.
Reassessing energy effi ciency opportunities as conditions change.
Energy effi ciency potential studies are an effective tool for building the policy case for energy effi ciency, evaluating effi ciency as an alternative to supply side resources, and formulating detailed program design plans. They are typically the fi rst step taken by entities interested in initiating or expanding a portfolio of effi ciency programs, and serve as the analytic basis for efforts to treat energy effi ciency as a high-priority resource equivalent with supply-side options.

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Sector: Finance

Country / Region: United States


Knowledge Object: Publication / Report

Published by: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Publishing year: 2007

Author: Philip Mosenthal and Jeffrey Loiter