Examining the Heterogeneity of Energy Efficiency Adoption and Savings Across Socio-Economic and Ethnic Groups Using a Large Scale Quasi-Experiment

Energy maintenance worker educating family on best HVAC practices

Assessing variations of social, cultural, and socio-economic factors impacting ethnic energy efficiency decision-making to improve efficacy in energy policy and programs.

Project Overview

Recipient: The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley

Program: EPIC

Award Amount: $360,632

Co-funded Amount: $150,784

Agreement Number: EPC-14-026

Project Term: 5/8/2015 - 6/30/2017

Project Status: Active

Recipient Location:  Berkeley, CA

The Issue

Numerous studies have found that consumers are failing to adopt seemingly cost-effective investments in energy efficiency. Current energy efficiency programs and energy demand forecasts do not account for varying participation across social, cultural, and socioeconomic groups. Previous studies have been small scale or based on stated-choice surveys. The results of these studies can be unreliable due to low participation rates, recall bias, and other biases.

Project Innovation

This project will conduct a quasi-experimental, econometric study of energy efficiency adoption and energy savings with a focus on differences between social, cultural, and socio-economic groups. The study will apply modern economic methods, including regression-discontinuity and propensity score matching. The large data sets and rigorous methods will result in precise estimates to improve demand forecasts, energy efficiency program design, and future energy studies concerning social, cultural, and socioeconomic groups.

Project Benefits

Senate Bill 350 (De Leon, 2015) sets energy efficiency targets for 2030 and allows for the targets to be achieved, in part, from utility programs that provide financial incentives and rebates to their customers to increase energy efficiency. This project will examine opportunities to increase customer participation in utility efficiency programs in a cost-optimal manner.

Greater Reliability: New metrics on the impacts of utility energy efficiency programs for various subpopulations can increase the accuracy of energy demand forecasts used in Long Term Procurement Planning and Resource Adequacy proceedings.

Consumer Appeal: Energy efficiency programs that incorporate social, behavioral and cultural aspects into the program design are likely to have greater appeal to potential customers.




Project Overview

Recipient: The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley

Program: EPIC

Award Amount: $360,632

Co-funded Amount: $150,784

Agreement Number: EPC-14-026

Project Term: 5/8/2015 - 6/30/2017

Project Status: Active

Recipient Location:  Berkeley, CA

Project Team

CEC Project Manager: Nicholas Blair

Recipient Contact: Andrew Campbell

Match Partner(s): The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley


 

 

For questions or additional information, please email RandDProjectinfo@energy.ca.gov

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