The US energy savings potential and who pays for it





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Published on Dec 18, 2012


Several recent studies use bottom-up models to assess the potential for energy efficiency (or avoided emissions from greenhouse gases) and the costs of implementing such energy efficiency measure, representing these two dimensions in an energy efficiency supply curve. However, energy savings estimates are generally overly optimistic suggesting that the costs to achieve the energy efficiency potential are very low.

We revisit the energy efficiency supply curve approach, developing a model that accounts for key uncertainties and different perspectives on how energy efficiency potential can be tackled.

This model provides efficiency potential savings and associated costs for the US residential sector, accounting for:

(i) different agents' perspectives (consumers, utilities/energy service companies, regulatory agencies) on the cost of efficiency;

(ii) energy savings potential at census division level;

(iii) different types of fuel uses;

(iv) the largest residential energy end-uses;

(v) market and implicit discount rates;

(vi) different specification of fuel prices and carbon factors;

(vii) several cost-effectiveness criteria to rank the most energy efficient options or cheapest climate mitigation options.


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