Discussion Paper

Energy-Efficiency Program Evaluations: Opportunities for Learning and Inputs to Incentive Mechanisms

Apr 14, 2010 | Noah Kaufman, Karen L. Palmer


We analyze the evaluations of California energy-efficiency programs to assess the effectiveness of these evaluations in: 1) improving our understanding of their performance and 2) providing a check onutility incentives to overstate energy savings. We find that third-party evaluations are useful tools to achieve both ends because the programs largely did not meet their energy-savings projections, and the utility-reported savings estimates are systematically higher than the evaluated savings estimates. We also find evidence that the choice of the third-party evaluator was influential in determining the estimate of evaluated savings.