What It Costs to Save Energy

Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets and Policy Group maintains the Cost of Saving Energy Database, now containing more than 13,000 program-years of energy efficiency spending and impacts data for 41 states. We use the database to characterize efficiency programs and calculate and report on the cost of saving energy.
The unique value of the database relates to the breadth, depth, and accuracy of the data collected, unbiased analysis of metrics and trends, and related technical assistance for states. It is the only national initiative that:
  • Assembles data for efficiency programs for utility customers down to the program level to accurately define the economic lifetime of savings
  • Collects information directly from individual utility/program administrator filings — based on reported results — rather than using less accurate aggregated sources or imputing values
  • Collects participant costs to calculate the total cost of saved energy, as well as program administrator costs 
  • Uses a wide range of data to track performance metrics over time (e.g., electricity savings, budgets and expenditure details, measure lifetimes, participation levels)
  • Employs a rigorous data quality assurance/quality control regime
States, utilities and stakeholders can use the data to:
  • Help ensure electricity system reliability at the most affordable cost as part of resource adequacy planning and implementation activities
  • Project efficiency’s impact on load forecasts
  • Benchmark program results with state, regional and national estimates
  • Initially screen resource alternatives
  • Evaluate how program costs are likely to change over time with funding levels and participation