are residential energy efficiency programs effective?

Research Project | 2017

Are residential energy efficiency programs effective?

More than 1 billion dollars have spent on Energy Efficiency (EE) Programs in California each year; however, we have limited solid evidence of their effectiveness. This project examines the effectiveness of Energy Efficiency (EE) programs in Southern California.

We address three main research questions:

(1) Are EE programs (residential based appliances and equipment upgrade) effective in terms of energy saving and cost-effectiveness?

(2) Does effectiveness vary by demographics?

(3) What factors drive the program impact?

To answer these questions, we analyze more than 10 million households’ monthly electricity usage from 2010 to 2014.

This project is the first using large-scale data on electricity usage and multiple program participation to examine this topic. We better address self-selection bias in program participation using rigorous quasi-experimental methods. Comparing energy savings from multiple EE programs, we can inform policymakers to better allocate resources.