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The Total Cost and Measured Performance of Utility-Sponsored Energy Efficiency Programs


  • Joseph Eto
  • Edward Vine
  • Leslie Shown
  • Richard Sonnenblick
  • Chris Payne


By examining the actual performance of conservation or demand-side management (DSM) programs for ten utilities, Joskow and Marron (1992) have made an important contribution to policy discussions about the wisdom of relying on utilities to improve customer energy efficiency. We use Joskow and Marrons method to analyze twenty utility commercial lighting programs and, like Joskow and Marron, find wide variations in industry reporting practices and savings evaluation methods. We extend the method by systematically accounting for several of the most important sources of variation and comment on how they influence total program costs. Our accounting also allows us to relate remaining program cost variations to the program sizes and the electric supply costs avoided by the programs. We draw qualified, yet affirmative, conclusions regarding the cost effectiveness of the programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Eto & Edward Vine & Leslie Shown & Richard Sonnenblick & Chris Payne, 1996. "The Total Cost and Measured Performance of Utility-Sponsored Energy Efficiency Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 31-51.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1996v17-01-a03

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Toshi H. Arimura, Shanjun Li, Richard G. Newell, and Karen Palmer, 2012. "Cost-Effectiveness of Electricity Energy Efficiency Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    2. Wirl, Franz, 2015. "White certificates — Energy efficiency programs under private information of consumers," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 507-515.
    3. Kaiser, Mark J. & Pulsipher, Allan G., 2003. "Resource allocation decision modeling for a Louisiana Public Benefit Fund program," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 639-667, November.
    4. Haberl, Helmut & Adensam, Heidi & Geissler, Susanne, 1998. "Optimal climate protection strategies for space heating The case of Austria," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(15), pages 1125-1135, December.
    5. Rosenow, Jan & Platt, Reg & Demurtas, Andrea, 2014. "Fiscal impacts of energy efficiency programmes—The example of solid wall insulation investment in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 610-620.
    6. Kaiser, Mark J. & Pulsipher, Allan G., 2010. "Preliminary assessment of the Louisiana Home Energy Rebate Offer program using IPMVP guidelines," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 691-702, February.
    7. Kaiser, M.J. & Pulsipher, A.G., 2003. "A generalized modeling framework for public benefit fund program valuation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 519-538.
    8. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2005. "Evaluating environmental programs: The perspective of modern evaluation research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 515-526, December.
    9. Boogen, Nina & Datta, Souvik & Filippini, Massimo, 2017. "Demand-side management by electric utilities in Switzerland: Analyzing its impact on residential electricity demand," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 402-414.
    10. Barbara Praetorius, 1996. "Nachfrageseitiges Marktversagen auf dem Energiemarkt: Empirische Evidenz, theoretische Aspekte, politische Folgerungen," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 65(2), pages 143-155.
    11. Hoffman, Ian M. & Goldman, Charles A. & Rybka, Gregory & Leventis, Greg & Schwartz, Lisa & Sanstad, Alan H. & Schiller, Steven, 2017. "Estimating the cost of saving electricity through U.S. utility customer-funded energy efficiency programs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 1-12.
    12. de la Rue du Can, Stephane & Leventis, Greg & Phadke, Amol & Gopal, Anand, 2014. "Design of incentive programs for accelerating penetration of energy-efficient appliances," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 56-66.
    13. Dulleck, Uwe & Kaufmann, Sylvia, 2004. "Do customer information programs reduce household electricity demand?--the Irish program," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1025-1032, June.
    14. Kaiser, Mark J. & Pulsipher, Allan G. & Baumann, Robert H., 2004. "The potential economic and environmental impact of a Public Benefit Fund in Louisiana," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 191-206, January.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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