Energy Efficiency

The Electricity Markets & Policy Group’s Energy Efficiency area conducts unbiased research, analysis, and technical assistance on energy efficiency markets and policies, as well as planning, designing, financing, implementing, and evaluating utility customer- and publicly funded programs. We also conduct research on the performance and market trends of the energy service company (ESCO) industry.

See the Projects tab for more information on the areas in which we work. 

Utility Customer-Funded Programs

The breadth and number of energy efficiency programs for utility customers continue to increase in response to policy and economic drivers. The EMP Group analyzes trends in these utility programs and enabling policies and provides technical and policy support to regional authorities, state regulatory commissions, and program administrators.

    Energy Saving Performance Contracting

    Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) have proven their ability to achieve significant energy and water savings for their clients. The EMP Group supports this work by assessing ESCO industry performance and market trends and by managing the largest database of ESCO projects in the world.

    Financing Energy Efficiency

    Rapid deployment of energy efficiency resources rests on a sound understanding and application of financing options. To support that understanding, the EMP Group provides independent, interdisciplinary analysis of critical issues in energy efficiency financing.

    Determining Program Impacts (EM&V)

    The EMP Group provides a range of technical and policy assistance to build state-level capacity and develop new and standardized methods for evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) of energy efficiency programs.

    Technical and Policy Support for SEE Action Network

    Electricity Markets & Policy staff provide technical and policy support for the State Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action), a state and local effort facilitated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency working to advance policy support and markets for energy efficiency.

    Technical Assistance to States

    The Office of Electricity (OE) provides independent and unbiased technical support to states, regions, and Tribes on their electricity-related policies through its Electricity Policy Technical Assistance Program. Types of assistance offered and activities supported include: analysis assistance; stakeholder-convened discussions; education and training through workshops and webinars; consultations with technical experts. Technical assistance is provided through national laboratories, regional and national associations of state decision-makers, and federal government staff. OE provides technical assistance in response to requests from eligible entities.

    Time- and locational-varying value of efficiency

    Distributed energy resources (DERs) — energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation and storage — are beginning to displace the need for some traditional utility infrastructure investments in some U.S. regions. However, the value of DERs to the electric system depends in part on DER characteristics — including where they are sited, when they generate or save energy, and their cost-effectiveness compared to traditional grid investments. The EMP Group has researched the time-varying value of energy efficiency in several states and regions.


    Eto, Joseph H. The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Utility Demand-Side Management Programs. Berkeley: LBNL, 1996. LBNL-39931.
    Goldman, Charles A, and David S Dayton. "Future Prospects for ESCOs in a Restructured Electricity Industry." ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. ACEEE, 1996. 11.
    Eto, Joseph H, M. Suzie Kito, Leslie J Shown, and Richard Sonnenblick. "Where Did the Money Go? The Cost and Measured Performance of the Largest 1992 Commercial Sector DSM Programs." ACEEE 1996 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Vol. 6. Asilomar, CA: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), 1996.
    Eto, Joseph H, and Eric Hirst. "What Kind of Future for Energy Efficiency?." The Electricity Journal 9.5 (1996).
    Busch, John F, and Joseph H Eto. "Estimation of Avoided Costs for Electric Utility Demand-side Planning." Energy Sources 18 (1996) 28.


    Hirst, Eric, and Joseph H Eto. Justification for Electric-Utility Energy-Efficiency Programs. Berkeley: LBNL, 1995. LBL-37593.
    Vine, Edward L. INDEEP Annual Report (1994-1995). Berkeley: LBNL, 1995. LBL-36876.
    Vine, Edward L. International DSM and DSM Program Evaluation: An INDEEP Assessment. Berkeley, CA, 1995. LBNL-36647.
    Sonnenblick, Richard, and Joseph H Eto. "A Review of Commerical Sector Lighting Program Evaluation." Energy Services Journal 1 (1995) 22.
    Sonnenblick, Richard, and Joseph H Eto. "Calculating the Uncertainty Estimates of DSM Program Cost-Effectiveness." 1995 International Energy Program Evalution Conference. Chicago, Il, 1995.


    Janda, Kathryn B. "Bounded Decision Making and Analytical Biases in Demand Side Management." American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Summer Study 1994. Pacific Grove, CA, 1994. LBNL-36523.