NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Cost-Effectiveness of Electricity Energy Efficiency Programs

Toshi H. Arimura, Shanjun Li, Richard G. Newell, Karen Palmer

NBER Working Paper No. 17556
Issued in October 2011
NBER Program(s):   EEE   PE

We analyze the cost-effectiveness of electric utility ratepayer–funded programs to promote demand-side management (DSM) and energy efficiency (EE) investments. We specify a model that relates electricity demand to previous EE DSM spending, energy prices, income, weather, and other demand factors. In contrast to previous studies, we allow EE DSM spending to have a potential long-term demand effect and explicitly address possible endogeneity in spending. We find that current period EE DSM expenditures reduce electricity demand and that this effect persists for a number of years. Our findings suggest that ratepayer funded DSM expenditures between 1992 and 2006 produced a central estimate of 0.9 percent savings in electricity consumption over that time period and a 1.8 percent savings over all years. These energy savings came at an expected average cost to utilities of roughly 5 cents per kWh saved when future savings are discounted at a 5 percent rate.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17556

Published: Toshi H. Arimura, Shanjun Li, Richard G. Newell, and Karen Palmer, 2012. "Cost-Effectiveness of Electricity Energy Efficiency Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).

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