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Utility energy efficiency program performance from a climate change perspective

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States and utilities increasingly rely on energy efficiency programs to address climate change mitigation goals.


This report assesses two types of such energy efficiency programs: behavioral programs that offer savings for a relatively short time, and structural retrofit programs that offer savings over longer periods.


We find that behavioral energy efficiency programs can reduce the same amount of damages from carbon emissions as structural retrofit programs, but in less time and at lower cost.


We also show that behavioral programs can further boost savings from structural programs.


In light of the scientific evidence pointing to the need to achieve rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, public utility commissions should continue to encourage utilities to make behavioral programs a key pillar in their energy efficiency program portfolio.


Read the report for insights on:


  • How avoiding greenhouse gas emissions today has an important compounding impact on future savings, making immediate action vitally important
  • How behavioral energy efficiency (BEE) can deliver climate benefits at a fraction of the cost and up to five times faster than structural energy efficiency (SEE)
  • Immediate actions regulators, utilities and advocacy groups can take today to enhance the role of both BEE and SEE programs in reaching their decarbonization targets

Additional documents