EIA tracks state-level energy efficiency programs

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) compiled a nationwide inventory providing detailed summaries of energy efficiency evaluation reports — called evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) reports — on electricity programs. This is the first such inventory available for public use, organizing useful and timely information for energy demand analysis.

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) established by states have joined other regulatory and policy measures as a primary driver of energy efficiency programs in the U.S. At the end of 2012, electric utilities in states having active EERS legislation served 104.6 million electric customers. As states and other entities ramp up incentive programs for enhancing energy efficiency, the effect of these incentives and their EM&V is critical to assessing program cost effectiveness.

To some extent, the implementation of EERS follows the renewable portfolio standards (RPS). In general, energy-related state legislation is an active field, with more than 2,100 bills pending in the 50 states, according to Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy and its Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker.

Energy efficiency program budgets have rapidly expanded, and in many states now approach supply-side capital investment in scale. But the diffused targeting of these programs, the lack of lengthy track records, and the difficulty of measuring their benefits make program evaluation critical. A large number of programs are currently generating an ever-growing number of EM&V studies.

The database catalogues 329 data sources containing program evaluation results. These primarily were presented in annual reports to state regulatory commissions (108 documents). An additional 115 reports were designated as impact or process evaluation reports. California reports are not included in the EIA inventory because the CALMAC system already provides a ready source for EM&V information.

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