Engineering estimates versus impact evaluation of energy efficiency projects: Regression discontinuity evidence from a case study
Energy efficiency upgrades have been gaining widespread attention across global channels as a cost-effective approach to addressing energy challenges. The cost-effectiveness of these projects is generally predicted using engineering estimates pre-implementation, often with little ex post analysis of project success. In this paper, for a suite of energy efficiency projects, we directly compare ex ante engineering estimates of energy savings to ex post econometric estimates that use 15-min interval, building-level energy consumption data. In contrast to most prior literature, our econometric results confirm the engineering estimates, even suggesting the engineering estimates were too modest. Further, we find heterogeneous efficiency impacts by time of day, suggesting select efficiency projects can be useful in reducing peak load.
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