Discussion Paper

Retrospective Examination of Demand-side Energy-efficiency Policies

Jun 8, 2004 | Kenneth T. Gillingham, Richard G. Newell, Karen L. Palmer


Energy efficiency policies are a primary avenue for reducing carbon emissions, with potential additional benefits from improved air quality and energy security. We review literature on a broad range of existing non-transportation energy efficiency policies covering appliance standards, financial incentives, information and voluntary programs, and government energy use (building and professional codes are not included). Estimates indicate these programs are likely to have collectively saved up to 4 quads of energy annually, with appliance standards and utility demand-side management likely making up at least half these savings. Energy Star, ClimateChallenge, and 1605b voluntary emissions reductions may also contribute significantly toaggregate energy savings, but how much of these savings would have occurred absent theseprograms is less clear. Although even more uncertain, reductions in CO2, NOX, SO2, and PM-10associated with energy savings may contribute about 10% more to the value of energy savings.