This study provides a comparative assessment of the initial long-term demandside management (DSM) plans of four New York utilities. Several quantitative and qualitative indicators are developed to assess the impact of DSM programs. For example, by the year 2000, the four New York utilities project that DSM programs could produce savings representing between 15 and 60% of their projected peak-load growth for that period. However, there is no consensus among the utilities about the appropriate methods for evaluating programs or deciding on implementation. We suggest criteria against which utility DSM plans should be assessed and apply this approach to the four utilities. We also identify the most important data and analysis needs for improving future DSM plans: improved stock characterization, explicit treatment of independent power production in the resource mix, a comprehensive assessment of the achievable potential for DSM options for all end uses and sectors, research on customer response and other information relevant to DSM options (load shape impacts, incentives required to achieve certain penetration rates), and consistent avoided cost projections.