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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)

StateAuthor/SponsorTypeStudy Time RangeCumulative Energy Savings (GWh)3Avg. Annual Potential Savings Rate4Sectors Included5
AZSWEEP, 20B BonanzaAchievable Potential2010-202016,7130.021 
ARACEEEAchievable Potential2005-202512,0770.011 
ARAR IOUs/NavigantEconomic Potential2016-20254,3170.008 
CA

AEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific Power

Achievable Potential2019-20382110.017R, C, I, Ir, StL
CACPUC/NavigantEconomic Potential2020-203023,1290.004R, C, I, Ag, Min, StL, BRO
CAPacifiCorpAchievable Potential2021-2040174 R, C, I, Ir
COBlack Hills EnergyEconomic Potential2016-20252870.016R, C, I
COCO Springs Utilities/CadmusAchievable Potential2019-20397010.008R,C, I, Mil
COSWEEP, 20B BonanzaAchievable Potential2010-202011,4950.011 
COXcel, PSC CO/ NavigantEconomic Potential2018-20285,5310.013R, C, I, Ag
CTCT CESEconomic Potential2009-20189,7480.033 
DEOptimal EnergyEconomic Potential2014-20254,3600.025 
DCDCEconomic Potential2013-20225,5380.043 
FLFPL / FPSCAchievable Potential2019-20291960.000R, C, I 
FLJEA / FPSCEconomic Potential2019-20291,0240.007R, C, I
FLNextant / FPSCTechnical Potential2019-202948,1250.020R, C, I
GAGeorgia Power/Nextant, CadmusEconomic Potential2019-2030Redacted0.014R, C, I
HIHawaii PUC / EnerNOCEconomic Potential2013-20306,2100.024R, C, I, Mil, W, StL 
IDAEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific PowerAchievable Potential2019-20385170.012R, C, I, Ir, StL
IDAvista ID/ EnerNOCEconomic Potential2014-2033860  
IDIdaho Power/AEGEconomic Potential2017-20362,8250.008R, C, I, Ir
IDPacifiCorpAchievable Potential2021-2040511 R, C, I, Ir
IL AEG/AmarenEconomic Potential2017-20367,7790.011R, C, I, StL
ILComEdAchievable Potential2017-203012,2920.014R, C, I
INDuke Energy INAchievable Potential2015-20353,608 R, C, I
INIPL/AEGEconomic Potential2015-20343,9110.012 
INNIPSCO/AEGEconomic Potential2016-20362,3670.012R, C, I
INSouthern Indiana/Vectren/EnerNOCEconomic Potential2011-2019478

0.010

R, C, I
INVectren Energy/GDSEconomic Potential202-20254750.054R, C, I
IADunsky / Iowa Utility AssociationEconomic Potential2018-20278,360

0.022

R, C, I
IAIowa IOUs / CadmusEconomic Potential2014-20236,8650.019 
KYACEEEEconomic Potential2013-203021,0980.011R, C, I
KY LG&E, KU / CadmusEconomic Potential2016-20351,2110.007I
LAACEEEEconomic Potential2011-203024,5070.014 
LAICFAchievable Potential2014-20345,9230.005 
MEEfficiency Maine Trust / CadmusEconomic Potential2012-20213,4080.026 
MAMA Energy Efficiency Advisory CouncilAchievable Potential2016-20184,2590.030 
MIConsumers Energy / GDSEconomic Potential2016-203511,7710.016R, C, I
MIDTE Energy / GDSEconomic Potential2016-203518,8680.018R, C, I
MIGDS / MPSCEconomic Potential2017-203630,7280.017R, C, I
MIGDS / MPSCEconomic Potential2017-20369070.020R, C, I
MNMN Commerce Dept/Center for Energy and Environment/Optimal Energy/SeventhwaveEconomic Potential2020-202932,9370.033R, C, I
MNNavigant/Otter Tail Power Company, MNAchievable Potential2017-20311,2830.017R, C, I
MSACEEEAchievable Potential2014-20256,8150.013 
MOACEEEAchievable Potential2012-20209,1640.010 
MOAmeren Missouri/GDSAchievable Potential2022-20404,2510.013R, C
MOKansas City Power and Light / AEGAchievable Potential2019-20373,1030.006R, C, I
MOKEMAEconomic Potential2011-203023,3590.013 
MOLiberty UtilitiesEconomic Potential2019-20396330.007R, C, I
NVAEG / TetraTech / NV EnergyEconomic Potential2017-20388,1880.013R, C, I, Ir, StL
NVSWEEP, 20B BonanzaAchievable Potential2010-20207,0400.011 
NJNJ BPU / EnerNOCEconomic Potential2013-20169,369

0.032

 
NMGEPEconomic Potential2012-20253,5100.011 
NMSWEEP, 20B BonanzaAchievable Potential2010-20205,1100.024 
NYCadmus / Central HudsonEconomic Potential2021-20409000.010R, C, I
NYConEd/NavigantEconomic Potential2017-202613,5290.021 
NYNYSERDA / Optimal EnergyEconomic Potential2014-203091,8560.030 
NCACEEEAchievable Potential2015-202551,8430.032 
NCDominion NC / DNV-GLEconomic Potential2014-20236400.022 
NCDominion NC/VA / DNV-GLEconomic Potential2014-202316,5990.022 
OHAEP / NavigantEconomic Potential2015-203422,2830.026R, C, I
OHDP&LEconomic Potential2013-20221,5180.012 
OHDukeEconomic Potential2013-20323,5240.007 
OHFirstEnergyEconomic Potential2012-202614,1540.018 
OKOG&E / CadmusEconomic Potential2015-20243,1680.013 
OKPSO / CadmusEconomic Potential2015-20241,9620.015 
OREnergy Trust Oregon / NavigantAchievable Potential2014-20336,7950.008 
PAPA PUCProgram Potential2021-20254,5130.006R, C, I
RIDunsky / RI EERMCAchievable Potential2021-20232,0590.027R, C, I
RIKEMAEconomic Potential2010-20202,1400.029R, C, I
TNTVA / EnerNOCEconomic Potential2012-203040,3650.012 
TXKEMA/Austin EnergyEconomic Potential2011-20202,7840.026

R, C, I

UTAEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific PowerAchievable Potential2019-20386,0410.013R, C, I, Ir, StL
UTPacifiCorpAchievable Potential2021-20407,197 R, C, I, Ir
UTSWEEP, 20B BonanzaAchievable Potential2010-20206,2340.020 
VTVDPS/ GDS / CadmusEconomic Potential2021-20401,5090.013R, C, I
VTVEIC / VELCOAchievable Potential2011-20312,3170.009 
VADominion VA / DNV-GLEconomic Potential2014-202313,7360.011 
WAAEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific PowerAchievable Potential2019-20381,1110.011R, C, I, Ir, StL
WAAvista/ AEGAchievable Potential2017-2036648  
WABenton PUD/ EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-20372350.006R, C, I, Ag, D
WAChelan PUD/ EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2016-2035153 R, C, I, Ag, D
WACity of Ellensburg / EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2016-203517 R, C, I, Ag, D
WAClallam PUD / EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-20371390.009R, C, I, Ag, D
WAClark Public Utilities / EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-20377090.008R, C, I, Ag, D
WAGrant PUD/ EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-20373720.002R, C, I, Ag, D
WAGrays Harbor PUD / EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-20371760.008R, C, I, Ag, D
WAInland/ EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-20371270.006R, C, I, Ag, D
WALewis PUD/ EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2020-2039114 R, C, I, Ag, D
WAMason PUD / EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-2037710.006R, C, I, Ag, D
WAPacifiCorpAchievable Potential2021-20401,148 R, C, I, Ir
WAPeninsula Light Company / Utility ConsultingAchievable Potential2017-202783  
WAPSE/NavigantAchievable Potential2018-20375,238 R, C, I
WAPUD No.1 Cowlitz County / EES ConsultingAchievable Potential2018-20375090.012R, C, I, Ag, D
WASeattle City Light/CadmusEconomic Potential2018-20371,4280.007R, C, I, StL
WASnohomish PUD / CadmusAchievable Potential2018-20371,9270.011R, C, I, Ag, D
WATacoma Power / AEGAchievable Potential2020-20393870.004R, C, I, StL, D
WIPSC-WI/CadmusEconomic Potential2017-203014,2990.020R, C, G, Ag
WYAEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific PowerAchievable Potential2019-20381,7390.010R, C, I, Ir, StL
WYPacifiCorpAchievable Potential2021-20401,650 R, C, I, Ir
WYSWEEP, 20B BonanzaAchievable Potential2010-20203,2380.016 

 

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.