Canadian Consulting Engineer

Which energy savings programs are most effective?

August 5, 2015

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently produced a report on energy efficiency progress over the past 35 years.

In that report they summarized which policies appeared to be saving the most energy today, looking at estimated savings in 2014.

It appears that energy efficiency standards directly applied to tangibles such as vehicle fuel use, household appliances and Energy Star building and equipment ratings generated the largest savings. Building codes and tax incentives were found less effective.

Here is the report’s summary:


Corporate avg fuel economy standards  –  7.3

Appliance & equipment efficiency standards – 5.3

Energy Star* – 3.8

Utility sector energy efficiency programs – 1.8

Building codes – 1.1

Federal R&D –  1.0

Energy Service Companies – 0.5

Federal tax incentives – 0.3

Notes: “Quads” is quadrillian (10 to the 15th power) Btu. The U.S. uses about 100 quads per year.
Assume 10,000 Btu per kWh (source energy).
*ENERGY STAR savings are from 2013

To read the ACEEE article about the findings, click here.



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