The benefits of energy efficiency extend beyond energy savings. Homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities gain comfort, health, and safety benefits from energy efficiency programs. Additional benefits for businesses include savings on maintenance, materials, and the costs of regulatory compliance. On the supply side, electric utilities enjoy reduced system costs. Focusing on the residential, business, and utility sectors, this report examines each of these multiple benefits, their role in program marketing, and current best practices for including them in cost-effectiveness testing.
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This Guide is designed to help state and local policymakers to take full advantage of new policy developments by providing them with a comprehensive set of tools to support launching or accelerating residential energy efficiency programs. The Guide focuses on four categories of policies that have proven particularly effective in providing a framework within which residential energy efficiency programs can thrive: incentives and financing, making the value of energy efficiency visible in the real estate market, data access and standardization, and supporting utility system procurement of energy efficiency.
Among the many benefits ascribed to energy efficiency is the fact that it can help create jobs. Although this is often used to motivate investments in efficiency programs, verifying job creation benefits is more complicated than it might seem at first. This paper identifies some of the issues that contribute to a lack of consistency in attempts to verify efficiency-related job creation. It then proposes an analytically rigorous and tractable framework for program evaluators to use in future assessments.