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US energy conservation and efficiency policies: Challenges and opportunities


  • Dixon, Robert K.
  • McGowan, Elizabeth
  • Onysko, Ganna
  • Scheer, Richard M.


Expanding energy conservation and efficiency in every sector nationwide is one of the most cost-effective instruments for reducing US energy imports, the trade deficit and energy's environmental impacts. For these reasons, energy conservation and efficiency have been essential elements of US energy policy since the oil embargos and price spikes of the 1970s. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) is the latest federal legislation to expand and strengthen US energy conservation and efficiency policies, programs, and practices. Specifically, EISA and its recent predecessor, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct05), contain almost 200 titles with new provisions for energy conservation and efficiency aimed at improvements in vehicle fuel economy. These provisions include efficiency of appliances and lighting; energy savings in residential, commercial, and government buildings; the efficiency of industrial manufacturing plants; and the efficiency of electric power delivery and end-use. These actions have begun to contribute to new federal, state, and local policies, programs, and practices across the US, and expectations are high for increases in the level of energy savings. This paper summarizes the history of US energy conservation and efficiency policies, outlines EISA's and EPAct05's key provisions, and considers prospects for the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Dixon, Robert K. & McGowan, Elizabeth & Onysko, Ganna & Scheer, Richard M., 2010. "US energy conservation and efficiency policies: Challenges and opportunities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6398-6408, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:11:p:6398-6408

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    3. Laura Abrardi & Carlo Cambini, 2014. "Tariff Regulation with Energy Efficiency Goals," IEFE Working Papers 65, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    4. Abrardi, Laura & Cambini, Carlo, 2015. "Tariff regulation with energy efficiency goals," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 122-131.
    5. repec:eee:forpol:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:99-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Georgopoulou, E. & Mirasgedis, S. & Sarafidis, Y. & Gakis, N. & Hontou, V. & Lalas, D.P. & Steiner, D. & Tuerk, A. & Fruhmann, C. & Pucker, J., 2015. "Lessons learnt from a sectoral analysis of greenhouse gas mitigation potential in the Balkans," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(P3), pages 577-591.
    7. Altwies, Joy E. & Nemet, Gregory F., 2013. "Innovation in the U.S. building sector: An assessment of patent citations in building energy control technology," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 819-831.
    8. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:1:p:241-:d:127853 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. de Ayala, Amaia & Galarraga, Ibon & Spadaro, Joseph V., 2016. "The price of energy efficiency in the Spanish housing market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 16-24.
    10. Buonomano, Annamaria & Calise, Francesco & d’Accadia, Massimo Dentice & Palombo, Adolfo & Vicidomini, Maria, 2015. "Hybrid solid oxide fuel cells–gas turbine systems for combined heat and power: A review," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 32-85.
    11. Eva Valeri & Amanda Stathopoulos & Edoardo Marcucci, 2012. "Energy Efficiency In The Transport Sector: Policy Evolution In Some European Countries," Working Papers 0312, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2012.
    12. Shaikh, Pervez Hameed & Nor, Nursyarizal Bin Mohd & Nallagownden, Perumal & Elamvazuthi, Irraivan & Ibrahim, Taib, 2014. "A review on optimized control systems for building energy and comfort management of smart sustainable buildings," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 409-429.
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    14. Galarraga, Ibon & Abadie, Luis M. & Ansuategi, Alberto, 2013. "Efficiency, effectiveness and implementation feasibility of energy efficiency rebates: The “Renove” plan in Spain," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages 98-107.
    15. Zafeiriou, Eleni & Arabatzis, Garyfallos & Koutroumanidis, Theodoros, 2011. "The fuelwood market in Greece: An empirical approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 3008-3018, August.
    16. Gianpaolo Iazzolino & Rossella Gabriele, 2016. "Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development: An Analysis of Financial Reliability in Energy Service Companies Industry," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 222-233.
    17. Leon Chu & David Sappington, 2012. "Designing optimal gain sharing plans to promote energy conservation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 115-134, October.
    18. repec:eee:rensus:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:1146-1168 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Reiche, Danyel, 2013. "Climate policies in the U.S. at the stakeholder level: A case study of the National Football League," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 775-784.
    20. Robert Dixon & Richard Scheer & Gareth Williams, 2011. "Sustainable energy investments: contributions of the Global Environment Facility," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 83-102, January.
    21. Antonio Angelo Romano & Giuseppe Scandurra & Alfonso Carfora, 2016. "Estimating the Impact of Feed-in Tariff Adoption: Similarities and Divergences among Countries through a Propensity-score Matching Method," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 144-151.
    22. Yang, Mian & Yang, Fu-Xia & Chen, Xing-Peng, 2011. "Effects of substituting energy with capital on China's aggregated energy and environmental efficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6065-6072, October.
    23. Chen, G.Q. & Wu, X.F., 2017. "Energy overview for globalized world economy: Source, supply chain and sink," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 735-749.


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