Recognizing the Full Value of Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency provides numerous benefits to utilities, to participants (including rate payers), and to society as a whole. However, many of these benefits are frequently undervalued or not valued at all when energy efficiency measures are assessed. This paper seeks to comprehensively identify, characterize, and provide guidance regarding the quantification of the “layer cake” of benefits provided by energy efficiency investments that save electricity. It focuses on the benefits of electric energy efficiency, but many of the same concepts are equally applicable to demand response, renewable energy, and water conservation measures. Similarly, they may also apply to efficiency investments associated with natural gas, fuel oil, or other end-user fuels. This report is meant to provide a comprehensive guide to consideration and valuation (where possible) of energy efficiency benefits. It provides a real-world example that has accounted for many, but not all, of the energy efficiency benefits analyzed herein. We also provide a list of recommendations for regulators to consider when evaluating energy efficiency programs.