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How do regulatory environmental policies perform? A case study of China's Top-10,000 enterprises energy-saving program


  • Shi, Xunpeng
  • Tian, Binbin
  • Yang, Longjian
  • Yu, Jian
  • Zhou, Siyang


Even before China's commitment to carbon neutrality and peak in September 2020, many programs had been implemented to save energy. One such program was the “Action Plan for Energy Conservation and Low-Carbon for Ten Thousand Enterprises” (hereafter Top-10,000 Enterprises Energy-Saving Program, or Top-10,000 Program, or Program) launched in 2011, which targets high energy users. The official assessment of this program, which began during China's 12th Five Year Plan period (2011–2015), claimed that it had achieved its goals. However, there has been no precise measurement of how much it has contributed to China's total energy conservation achievements and how enterprises responded to it. Employing the regression discontinuity design approach and Chinese taxation survey data, this study represents a pioneering attempt to assess the energy savings resulting from this program. Our study estimates that this program accounted for an average of 5.8% of nationwide energy savings. The primary methods employed by enterprises to save energy were enhancing energy efficiency and dynamically adjusting production scale. The results of our study suggest that regulatory environmental policies should not be hindered by short-term scale effects. Instead, further innovations are required to minimize the cost of energy savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Shi, Xunpeng & Tian, Binbin & Yang, Longjian & Yu, Jian & Zhou, Siyang, 2023. "How do regulatory environmental policies perform? A case study of China's Top-10,000 enterprises energy-saving program," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:187:y:2023:i:c:s1364032123005919
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2023.113734

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