States, utilities, and non-governmental organizations across the country have commissioned analyses over the years to identify potential energy savings (typically for electricity) available within their jurisdictions. These studies can be used to fulfill a variety of needs, including energy efficiency program planning, state goal setting, utility resource planning, and other priorities.

This page showcases a compilation of state and local energy efficiency potential studies published since 2010 to serve as a resource for energy planners and as a baseline for future analyses. Although these studies have been completed by a variety of authors to meet numerous purposes and have important differences among them, the majority show an average annual energy efficiency potential savings rate1 in the range of 1 to 1.5% electricity savings per year over a period of 10–20 years (see middle and bottom charts in below figure). The top chart in the below figure shows that many utilities have achieved robust savings, in some cases outperforming the identified achievable potential and suggesting the potential for even greater savings. Collectively, the potential electricity savings identified in these studies demonstrate that a high level of energy efficiency potential is available throughout the United States.

This graph compares studies focused on achievable potential savings and economic potential savings. Most studies found economic and achievable electricity savings between 1.0% and 1.5%. Estimates from 2018 utility performance is included for comparison.

1The average annual energy efficiency potential savings rate was calculated based upon the total electricity savings percentage in the final year of the study relative to the study’s baseline forecasted sales, divided by the number of years included in the study. If the average annual energy efficiency potential savings rate was reported in the publication, that value was used in the figure. Only the economic potential is shown in the figure for studies that reported both economic and achievable potential. Utility performance data is from the 2020 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard (2018 data).

On This Page

Introduction to Energy Efficiency Potential

This image illustrates the relationship of the four generalized categories of energy efficiency as circles. Beginning with the outermost circle to innermost circle: Technical potential, economic potential, achievable potential, and program potential.

Energy efficiency reduces demand-side electricity and natural gas consumption. Energy efficiency programs can lower consumer utility costs and serve as an alternative to increased energy production. Energy efficiency potential is an estimate of how much energy efficiency is available in a utility footprint, state, or region under a given set of parameters.

There are four generalized categories of energy efficiency potential, each quantified differently. Technical potential is the total energy that could be saved by efficiency measures, without consideration of cost or willingness of users to adopt the measures. Economic potential is the subset of technical potential that is considered cost-effective compared to a supply-side energy resource alternative (i.e., energy generation). Achievable potential, a subset of economic potential, is the energy savings that could be realistically achieved given real-world constraints, including market and programmatic barriers. Some studies quantify the program potential that an individual energy efficiency measure (often a proposed utility program) could attain. Individual studies may have slight variations on these generalized categories.

Important Differences Across Studies

The studies compiled below represent publicly available energy efficiency potential studies undertaken since 20102, but do not represent a reconciled set of analyses. With a variety of sponsoring organizations and consultants undertaking these efforts and a range of ways in which these studies are used, assumptions, methodologies, and coverage also differ.

Studies consider the energy efficiency potential of different sectors within their footprint. The figure below demonstrates the inclusion of different sectors for many of the studies included in this catalog. Most studies included energy efficiency potential in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Some studies further specify savings from agriculture, street lighting, and other sectors. Additional cost-effective savings may be available with expanded sectoral coverage.

A graphic plotting the count of sectors considered in the energy efficiency potential catalog studies. Most studies considered the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

Highlighted below are other differences among the studies, which make comparisons across studies inappropriate for most purposes:

  • Reported potential: While some studies analyze and report economic potential, others only report achievable potential. Policy-related energy efficiency projections are included in the catalog as achievable potential studies.
  • Baseline year and study length: Studies were conducted between 2007 and 2018. The baseline year used to calculate savings potential for each study varies, as does the number of years over which savings are assumed to accumulate. These differences will have an impact on the results.
  • Projection methods: Different models are used to forecast savings over time. While some models evaluate savings from individual technologies and assess cost-effectiveness on a yearly basis, others look at average potential savings across a sector or estimate savings based on similar studies. The explicit inclusion of naturally occurring savings also differs between studies.
  • Avoided energy costs: The source of avoided energy costs against which efficiency measures are compared for determining cost-effectiveness differs between studies, as do the projections of those costs.
  • Cost-effectiveness tests: The type of cost-effectiveness test used to screen energy efficiency opportunities differs by study, as does the application of those tests (e.g. inclusion of non-energy benefits).
  • Technologies: The range of technologies included and treatment of future emerging technologies over the time period of analysis differ across the studies.
  • Coverage area: Some estimates are for an entire state while others only represent a given utility’s service area.
  • Annual potential savings rate: A few potential studies report an annual savings percentage (as a proportion of electricity sales) for the study period; however, many do not provide this information. To provide an illustrative common metric across studies in the catalog, the summary table below provides a calculated annual potential savings rate or the rate that was reported directly in publication. The annual savings rate was calculated based upon the percentage of the total savings in the final year of the study relative to the study’s baseline forecasted sales, divided by the number of years included in the study.

2Where multiple studies have been published for a given region since 2010, only the most recent report is included.

 

 

EE Potential Studies Catalog

The table below provides a high-level summary of over 100 energy efficiency potential studies conducted by state, local, and non-governmental organizations (unaffiliated with DOE) between 2010 and 2020. Details of individual studies presented here should be confirmed by reading the study.

DOE is providing links to the following studies through this online catalog but has not funded, reviewed, nor endorsed any of the methods or conclusions. All questions should be directed to the appropriate author of the published study of interest. If studies are missing or summary information is inaccurate, please contact us.

(Updated December 10, 2020)

State Author/Sponsor Type Study Time Range Cumulative Energy Savings (GWh)3 Avg. Annual Potential Savings Rate4 Sectors Included5
AZ SWEEP, 20B Bonanza Achievable Potential 2010-2020 16,713 0.021  
AR ACEEE Achievable Potential 2005-2025 12,077 0.011  
AR AR IOUs/Navigant Economic Potential 2016-2025 4,317 0.008  
CA

AEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific Power

Achievable Potential 2019-2038 211 0.017 R, C, I, Ir, StL
CA CPUC/Navigant Economic Potential 2020-2030 23,129 0.004 R, C, I, Ag, Min, StL, BRO
CA PacifiCorp Achievable Potential 2021-2040 174   R, C, I, Ir
CO Black Hills Energy Economic Potential 2016-2025 287 0.016 R, C, I
CO CO Springs Utilities/Cadmus Achievable Potential 2019-2039 701 0.008 R,C, I, Mil
CO SWEEP, 20B Bonanza Achievable Potential 2010-2020 11,495 0.011  
CO Xcel, PSC CO/ Navigant Economic Potential 2018-2028 5,531 0.013 R, C, I, Ag
CT CT CES Economic Potential 2009-2018 9,748 0.033  
DE Optimal Energy Economic Potential 2014-2025 4,360 0.025  
DC DC Economic Potential 2013-2022 5,538 0.043  
FL FPL / FPSC Achievable Potential 2019-2029 196 0.000 R, C, I 
FL JEA / FPSC Economic Potential 2019-2029 1,024 0.007 R, C, I
FL Nextant / FPSC Technical Potential 2019-2029 48,125 0.020 R, C, I
GA Georgia Power/Nextant, Cadmus Economic Potential 2019-2030 Redacted 0.014 R, C, I
HI Hawaii PUC / EnerNOC Economic Potential 2013-2030 6,210 0.024 R, C, I, Mil, W, StL 
ID AEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific Power Achievable Potential 2019-2038 517 0.012 R, C, I, Ir, StL
ID Avista ID/ EnerNOC Economic Potential 2014-2033 860    
ID Idaho Power/AEG Economic Potential 2017-2036 2,825 0.008 R, C, I, Ir
ID PacifiCorp Achievable Potential 2021-2040 511   R, C, I, Ir
IL  AEG/Amaren Economic Potential 2017-2036 7,779 0.011 R, C, I, StL
IL ComEd Achievable Potential 2017-2030 12,292 0.014 R, C, I
IN Duke Energy IN Achievable Potential 2015-2035 3,608   R, C, I
IN IPL/AEG Economic Potential 2015-2034 3,911 0.012  
IN NIPSCO/AEG Economic Potential 2016-2036 2,367 0.012 R, C, I
IN Southern Indiana/Vectren/EnerNOC Economic Potential 2011-2019 478

0.010

R, C, I
IN Vectren Energy/GDS Economic Potential 202-2025 475 0.054 R, C, I
IA Dunsky / Iowa Utility Association Economic Potential 2018-2027 8,360

0.022

R, C, I
IA Iowa IOUs / Cadmus Economic Potential 2014-2023 6,865 0.019  
KY ACEEE Economic Potential 2013-2030 21,098 0.011 R, C, I
KY  LG&E, KU / Cadmus Economic Potential 2016-2035 1,211 0.007 I
LA ACEEE Economic Potential 2011-2030 24,507 0.014  
LA ICF Achievable Potential 2014-2034 5,923 0.005  
ME Efficiency Maine Trust / Cadmus Economic Potential 2012-2021 3,408 0.026  
MA MA Energy Efficiency Advisory Council Achievable Potential 2016-2018 4,259 0.030  
MI Consumers Energy / GDS Economic Potential 2016-2035 11,771 0.016 R, C, I
MI DTE Energy / GDS Economic Potential 2016-2035 18,868 0.018 R, C, I
MI GDS / MPSC Economic Potential 2017-2036 30,728 0.017 R, C, I
MI GDS / MPSC Economic Potential 2017-2036 907 0.020 R, C, I
MN MN Commerce Dept/Center for Energy and Environment/Optimal Energy/Seventhwave Economic Potential 2020-2029 32,937 0.033 R, C, I
MN Navigant/Otter Tail Power Company, MN Achievable Potential 2017-2031 1,283 0.017 R, C, I
MS ACEEE Achievable Potential 2014-2025 6,815 0.013  
MO ACEEE Achievable Potential 2012-2020 9,164 0.010  
MO Ameren Missouri/GDS Achievable Potential 2022-2040 4,251 0.013 R, C
MO Kansas City Power and Light / AEG Achievable Potential 2019-2037 3,103 0.006 R, C, I
MO KEMA Economic Potential 2011-2030 23,359 0.013  
MO Liberty Utilities Economic Potential 2019-2039 633 0.007 R, C, I
NV AEG / TetraTech / NV Energy Economic Potential 2017-2038 8,188 0.013 R, C, I, Ir, StL
NV SWEEP, 20B Bonanza Achievable Potential 2010-2020 7,040 0.011  
NJ NJ BPU / EnerNOC Economic Potential 2013-2016 9,369

0.032

 
NM GEP Economic Potential 2012-2025 3,510 0.011  
NM SWEEP, 20B Bonanza Achievable Potential 2010-2020 5,110 0.024  
NY Cadmus / Central Hudson Economic Potential 2021-2040 900 0.010 R, C, I
NY ConEd/Navigant Economic Potential 2017-2026 13,529 0.021  
NY NYSERDA / Optimal Energy Economic Potential 2014-2030 91,856 0.030  
NC ACEEE Achievable Potential 2015-2025 51,843 0.032  
NC Dominion NC / DNV-GL Economic Potential 2014-2023 640 0.022  
NC Dominion NC/VA / DNV-GL Economic Potential 2014-2023 16,599 0.022  
OH AEP / Navigant Economic Potential 2015-2034 22,283 0.026 R, C, I
OH DP&L Economic Potential 2013-2022 1,518 0.012  
OH Duke Economic Potential 2013-2032 3,524 0.007  
OH FirstEnergy Economic Potential 2012-2026 14,154 0.018  
OK OG&E / Cadmus Economic Potential 2015-2024 3,168 0.013  
OK PSO / Cadmus Economic Potential 2015-2024 1,962 0.015  
OR Energy Trust Oregon / Navigant Achievable Potential 2014-2033 6,795 0.008  
PA PA PUC Program Potential 2021-2025 4,513 0.006 R, C, I
RI Dunsky / RI EERMC Achievable Potential 2021-2023 2,059 0.027 R, C, I
RI KEMA Economic Potential 2010-2020 2,140 0.029 R, C, I
TN TVA / EnerNOC Economic Potential 2012-2030 40,365 0.012  
TX KEMA/Austin Energy Economic Potential 2011-2020 2,784 0.026

R, C, I

UT AEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific Power Achievable Potential 2019-2038 6,041 0.013 R, C, I, Ir, StL
UT PacifiCorp Achievable Potential 2021-2040 7,197   R, C, I, Ir
UT SWEEP, 20B Bonanza Achievable Potential 2010-2020 6,234 0.020  
VT VDPS/ GDS / Cadmus Economic Potential 2021-2040 1,509 0.013 R, C, I
VT VEIC / VELCO Achievable Potential 2011-2031 2,317 0.009  
VA Dominion VA / DNV-GL Economic Potential 2014-2023 13,736 0.011  
WA AEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific Power Achievable Potential 2019-2038 1,111 0.011 R, C, I, Ir, StL
WA Avista/ AEG Achievable Potential 2017-2036 648    
WA Benton PUD/ EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 235 0.006 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Chelan PUD/ EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2016-2035 153   R, C, I, Ag, D
WA City of Ellensburg / EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2016-2035 17   R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Clallam PUD / EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 139 0.009 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Clark Public Utilities / EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 709 0.008 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Grant PUD/ EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 372 0.002 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Grays Harbor PUD / EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 176 0.008 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Inland/ EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 127 0.006 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Lewis PUD/ EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2020-2039 114   R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Mason PUD / EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 71 0.006 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA PacifiCorp Achievable Potential 2021-2040 1,148   R, C, I, Ir
WA Peninsula Light Company / Utility Consulting Achievable Potential 2017-2027 83    
WA PSE/Navigant Achievable Potential 2018-2037 5,238   R, C, I
WA PUD No.1 Cowlitz County / EES Consulting Achievable Potential 2018-2037 509 0.012 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Seattle City Light/Cadmus Economic Potential 2018-2037 1,428 0.007 R, C, I, StL
WA Snohomish PUD / Cadmus Achievable Potential 2018-2037 1,927 0.011 R, C, I, Ag, D
WA Tacoma Power / AEG Achievable Potential 2020-2039 387 0.004 R, C, I, StL, D
WI PSC-WI/Cadmus Economic Potential 2017-2030 14,299 0.020 R, C, G, Ag
WY AEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific Power Achievable Potential 2019-2038 1,739 0.010 R, C, I, Ir, StL
WY PacifiCorp Achievable Potential 2021-2040 1,650   R, C, I, Ir
WY SWEEP, 20B Bonanza Achievable Potential 2010-2020 3,238 0.016  

 

3Gigawatt-hours (GWh). Where savings were not reported directly, savings were calculated either using applicable reported percentages or converting from average megawatt (aMW).
4Average annual savings rate was calculated by dividing the total cumulative savings percentage over the period of study by the number of years in the study; the initial year of study was assumed to be the baseline.
5Sectors include: residential (R), commercial (C), industrial (I), irrigation (Ir), agriculture (Ag), mining (Min), street lighting where specifically called out as a sector (StL), military (Mil), water/wastewater (W), government (G), distribution (D) and behavior (B), retrocommissioning and operational (BRO) as indicated.

Submit Additional Studies

This catalog is intended to be a living repository of published publicly available energy efficiency potential studies.

To submit additional studies or update values included in the summary above, please email EERE.Analysis@ee.doe.gov.

Contact Us

Reach out to the State and Local Solution Center at stateandlocal@ee.doe.gov.

For more resources, explore our all resources webpage.

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