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Setting the standard? A framework for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of building energy standards

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  • Papineau, Maya

Abstract

The adoption rate and stringency of building energy standards in the U.S. have been increasing since the mid-1990s as a result of the Energy Policy Act mandate of 1992 (EPAct). Current evidence on the energy savings that accrue from commercial building energy standards is based on engineering simulations, which do not account for realized behaviour once a standard is actually adopted. This paper uses quasi-experimental variation in commercial building energy standard adoptions to estimate their effect on realized electricity consumption and cost-effectiveness. In states induced by EPAct to adopt an energy standard where all new nonresidential construction was erected under a commercial standard, electricity consumption per service worker is lower by about 12%, and total commercial electricity consumption is lower by 10%. Including early adopters and never-adopters to the analysis leads to a downward bias in the treatment effect. The realized electricity savings in the EPAct states represent three quarters of predicted simulated savings, and electricity saved in 2010 came at a cost of approximately 7.7 cents per kWh.

Suggested Citation

  • Papineau, Maya, 2017. "Setting the standard? A framework for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of building energy standards," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 63-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:63-76
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2017.02.011
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    6. Wang, Xia & Feng, Wei & Cai, Weiguang & Ren, Hong & Ding, Chao & Zhou, Nan, 2019. "Do residential building energy efficiency standards reduce energy consumption in China? – A data-driven method to validate the actual performance of building energy efficiency standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 82-98.
    7. Rana, Anber & Sadiq, Rehan & Alam, M. Shahria & Karunathilake, Hirushie & Hewage, Kasun, 2021. "Evaluation of financial incentives for green buildings in Canadian landscape," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    8. Anan Watcharapongvinij & Apichit Therdyothin, 2019. "Optimum Design of Retail and Wholesale Building for Minimum Energy Consumption and Total Cost," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 9(6), pages 511-524.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy efficiency; Energy consumption; Regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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