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Examining the Net Savings Issue: A National Survey of State Policies and Practices in the Evaluation of Ratepayer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs

February 3, 2014 Comments off

Examining the Net Savings Issue: A National Survey of State Policies and Practices in the Evaluation of Ratepayer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs
Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Determining the net savings impacts of a program is one of the most prominent and longstanding challenges in the utility energy efficiency field. ACEEE conducted a national review of state approaches to the net savings issue in order to help policymakers, regulators, utilities, and other interested parties better understand this issue and how their peers are addressing it. We surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia, reviewed recent industry literature, and conducted interviews with national energy efficiency program evaluation experts.

The purpose of this study was not to assess or recommend particular evaluation methodologies, but to examine and document states’ decision making on the issue of net savings.

The results of this project indicate a great deal of diversity in how states are approaching this issue. At one end, nearly a quarter of states simply report gross savings. Another large segment, probably a majority, nominally report net savings, but with a fairly simplistic approach (often just using deemed net-to-gross ratios). Finally, a small number of states (many profiled in this report) are pursuing more complex approaches to measuring net savings, including spillover and in some cases, broader market effects.

The report provides a summary of our national survey results, state-by-state results on key variables, the takeaways from our interviews with national energy efficiency evaluation experts, profiles of some noteworthy states, our overall conclusions, and a few practical recommendations for how states should address various aspects related to the subject of net savings.

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The City Energy Efficiency Scorecard

September 19, 2013 Comments off

The City Energy Efficiency Scorecard
Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
From press release:

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today released the 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, a report that ranks 34 of the most populous U.S. cities on policies to advance energy efficiency. The report includes recommendations and strategies for all cities to lower energy use. ACEEE also launched a new interactive infographic accompanying the report that highlights each city’s best practices and scores.

Boston took top honors, doing the most to save energy. Other top-scoring cities include Portland, Ore., New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin. The next tier of top-scoring cities (Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia and Denver) have also developed efficiency initiatives and are poised to rise in the rankings in future years.

The long-term energy efficiency potential: What the evidence suggests

January 18, 2012 Comments off

The long-term energy efficiency potential: What the evidence suggests
Source: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy

America is thinking too small when it comes to energy efficiency, while also making the mistake of “crowding out” economically beneficial investments in energy efficiency by focusing on riskier and more expensive bids to develop new energy sources, according to a major new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Titled The Long-Term Energy Efficiency Potential: What the Evidence Suggests, the new ACEEE report outlines three scenarios under which the U.S. could either continue on its current path or cut energy consumption by the year 2050 almost 60 percent, add nearly two million net jobs in 2050, and save energy consumers as much as $400 billion per year (the equivalent of $2600 per household annually).

According to ACEEE, the secret to major economic gains from energy efficiency is a more productive investment pattern of increased investments in energy efficiency, which would allow lower investments in power plants and other supply infrastructure, thereby substantially lowering overall energy expenditures on an economy-wide basis in the residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and electric power sectors.

+ Full Report

Greening Work Styles: Analysis of Energy Behavior Programs in the Workplace

January 17, 2012 Comments off
Source:  American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
This report focuses on energy behavior programs in the workplace, which aim to reduce building energy use through change in employees’ attitudes and behaviors. The report reviews five energy behavior projects across the U.S. and Canada. Energy savings of the studied energy behavior projects are from 4% (savings from a stand-alone behavior program) to nearly 75% (savings from a comprehensive project in which a behavior program is a component).
The report also identifies four intervention strategies shared by the reviewed energy behavior projects: (1) setting the tone with strong support from upper management and good program branding; (2) building a team consisting of a stakeholder-oriented program committee and peer champions selected from building occupants; (3) employing communication tools including e-mail, Web sites, prompts, posters and public meetings; and (4) deploying key engagement techniques such as feedback, benign peer pressure, competition, rewards, and reference to appropriate social norms.

Full Report (PDF)

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