Energy Efficiency Potential Studies Catalog

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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.

Below is a compilation of state and local energy efficiency potential studies published since 2007, 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 (>60%) show an average annual energy efficiency potential savings rate1 in the range of 1 to 2.5% per year (Figure 1). This convergence across such a wide range of studies suggests a high level of energy efficiency potential available throughout the U.S. 

To learn more about specific, sizable opportunities to expand energy efficiency in your state or locality, view the SEE Action Guide for Statespresentations on individual pathways; or DOE's estimates of national and state-level energy savings potential.

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.

Chart showing energy efficiency potential studies from 2007-2017.

1The average annual energy efficiency potential savings rate was calculated based upon the total 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 average annual energy efficiency potential savings rate was reported in publication, that value was used in the figure.

Economic and achievable potential are defined relative to the theoretical maximum, known as the technical potential. Technical energy efficiency potential is the total energy that could be saved by any 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. 

Important Differences Across Studies

The studies compiled below represent publically available energy efficiency potential studies undertaken since 2007, but do not represent a reconciled set of analyses2. 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. Highlighted below are the types of 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 2017. 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 cost: The source of avoided costs against which efficiency measures are compared for determining cost-effectiveness differs between studies, as do the projections of those costs.
  • 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.
  • Sectors included: Most studies included energy efficiency potential in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors; some studies further specify savings from street lighting, agriculture, and other sub-sectors. There are a few studies that included only two sectors (noted below).
  • 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 total 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.

2 Where multiple studies have been published for a given region since 2007, only the most recent report is included.

Catalog Summary

The table below provides a summary of 83 energy efficiency potential studies for 43 states and DC conducted by state, local, and non-governmental organizations (unaffliated with DOE) between 2007 and 2017.

StateAuthor/Sponsor, YearType3Study Time RangeCumulative Energy Savings (GWh)4Avg. Annual Potential Savings Rate5Sectors Included6
AZ

SWEEP, 20B Bonanza

2012

Achievable Potential2010-201016,7132.1%R, C, I
AR

ACEEE

2011

Achievable Potential2009-202512,0771.3%R, C, I 
AR

AR IOUs/Navigant

2015

Economic Potential2016-20254,3171.6%R, C, I
CA

PUC/Navigant

2017

Achievable Potential2014-203011,9380.4%R,C, I, A, M, S and BRO
CA

AEG/PacifiCorp/Pacific Power

2017

Achievable Potential2017-20361681.1%R,C,I, Ir, S
CO

SWEEP, 20B Bonanza

2012

Achievable Potential2010-202011,4951.1%R,C, I
CO

Xcel/KEMA

2013

Economic Potential

2013-20206,4702.9%R, C, I
CO

Black Hills Energy

2015

Economic Potential2016-20152871.6%R, C, I
CO

CO Springs Utilities/Cadmus

2016

Economic Potential2016-20357660.8%R, C, I, M
CT

CT CES

2013

Economic Potential

2009-20189,7483.3%R, C, I
DE

Optimal Energy

2014

Economic Potential

2014-20254,3602.5%R, C, I
DC

DC

2013

Economic Potential

2013-20225,5384.3%R, C, I
FL

ACEEE

2007

Economic Potential

2013-202384,4722.0%R, C, I
GA

Georgia Power/Nexant, Cadmus

2015

Economic Potential

2015-2026Redacted1.7%R, C, I
HI

Hawaii PUC/EnerNOC

2014

Economic Potential

2013-20306,2102.4%R, C, I, M, W, S
ID 

AEG/PacifiCorp Rocky Mountain Power

2017

Achievable Potential2017-20364780.8%R, C, I, Ir, S
ID

Avista ID/ EnerNOC

2013

Economic Potential2014-2033860 R, C, I 
ID

Idaho Power/EnerNOC

2017
Economic Potential 2017-20362,8250.8%R, C, I, Ir
IL

ComEd

2016

Achievable Potential 2017-2025 1.4%R, C, I
IL

AEG/Amaren

2016

Economic Potential2014-20367,7791.1%R, C, I
IN

IPL/AEG

2014

Economic Potential2015-20343,9111.2%R, C, I
IN

Duke

2015

Achievable Potential2015-20354,557 R, C, I
IN

Southern Indiana/Vectren/EnerNOC

2013
Economic Potential2011-20194781.0%R, C, I
IN

NIPSCO/AEG

2016
Economic Potential2016-20362,3671.2%R, C, I
IA

Iowa Utility Association/Nexant

2008

Economic Potential

2008-20186,7771.7%R, C, I
IA

Iowa IOUs/Cadmus

2012

Economic Potential

2014-20236,8651.9%R, C, I
KS

Kansas Energy Council/Summit Blue

2008

Economic Potential

2008-202816,7871.7%R, C, I
KY

ACEEE

2012

Economic Potential

2013-203021,0981.1%R, C, I
KY

LG&E, KU / Cadmus

2013

Economic Potential

2013-20332,5270.5%R, C, I
KY

Duke/Forefront Economics, Gil Peach

2009

Economic Potential

2009-20296220.8%R, C, I
LA

ACEEE

2013

Economic Potential

2011-203024,5071.4%R, C, I
LA

ICF

2014

Achievable Potential

2014-20345,9230.5%R, C, I
ME

Efficiency Maine Trust/Cadmus

2012

Economic Potential2008-20213,4082.6%R, C, I
MD

ACEEE

2008

Economic Potential2008-202522,1641.7%R, C, I
MA

MA Energy Efficiency Advisory Council

2015

Achievable Potential2016-20184,2593.0%R, C, I
MI

Consumers Energy/GDS

2016

Economic Potential2016-203531%1.6%R, C, I
MI

DTE Energy/GDS

2016

Economic Potential

2016-203536%1.8%R, C, I
MN

Navigant/Otter Tail Power Company, MN

2016

Achievable Potential2017-20311,2831.1%R, C, I
MN

XCEL/DNV-GL

2015
Economic Potential2013-20236,4522.0%R, C, I, B
MS

ACEEE

2013

Achievable Potential2014-20256,8151.3%R, C, I
MO

ACEEE

2011

Achievable Potential2012-20209,1641.0%R, C, I
MO

KEMA

2010

Economic Potential2011-203023,3591.3%R, C, I
MO

Ameren / EnerNOC

2013

Economic Potential2016-20307,7181.5%R, C, I
MO

Kansas City Power and Light

2013

Achievable Potential2013-2032 1.5%R, C, I
MT

Power of Efficiency

2009

Achievable Potential

2009-20202,190 R, C, I
NV

SWEEP, 20B Bonanza

2012

Achievable Potential

2010-20207,0401.1%R, C, I
NV

NPC/SPCC/PA Consulting

2009

Economic Potential2009-2028 0.8%R, C, I
NH

NHPUC / GDS

2009

Achievable Potential2009-20182,9582.3%R, C, I
NJ

NJ BPU/EnerNOC

2012

Economic Potential2013-20169,3693.2%R, C, I
NM

SWEEP, 20B Bonanza

2012

Achievable Potential2010-20205,1102.4%R, C, I
NM

GEP

2011

Economic Potential2012-20253,5101.1%R, C, I
NY

NYSERDA/Optimal Energy

2014

Economic Potential2014-203091,8563.0%R, C, I
NY

ConEd/GEP

2010

Economic Potential2010-201811,0942.0%R, C, I
NC

ACEEE

2010

Achievable Potential2015-202551,8433.2%R, C, I
NC

Dominion NC/VA / DNV-GL

2015

Economic Potential2014-2023 16,5992.2%R, C, I
NC

Dominion NC / DNV-GL

2015

Economic Potential2014-20236402.2%R, C, I
OH

ACEEE

2009

Economic Potential2015-202564,0003.3%R, C, I
OH

AEP / Navigant

2014

Economic Potential2015-203422,2832.6%R, C, I
OH

Duke/Forefront Economics, Gil Peach

2013

Economic Potential2013-2032 0.7%R, C, I
OH

FirstEnergy

2012

Economic Potential2012-202614,1541.8%R, C, I
OH

DP&L

2013

Economic Potential2013-20221,5181.2%R, C, I
OK

OG&E / Cadmus

2015

Economic Potential2015-20243,1681.3%R, C, I
OK

PSO / Cadmus

2015

Economic Potential2015-20241,9621.5%R, C, I
OR

Energy Trust Oregon/Navigant

2014

Achievable Potential2014-20336,7950.8%R, C, I
PA

ACEEE

2009

Economic Potential

2008-202561,0002.1%R, C, I
PA

PA PUC

2015

Economic Potential

2016-202526,9451.8%R, C, I
RI

KEMA

2010

Economic Potential

2010-20202,1402.49%R, C, I
SC

ACEEE

2009

Achievable Potential2015-202523,1192.4%R, C, I
SD

Synapse

2009

Achievable Potential2010-20209,604 R, C
TN 

TVA/EnerNOC

2012

Economic Potential2012-203040,3651.2%R, C, I
TX 

Itron

2008

Economic Potential2009-201856,9131.8%R, C, I
TX 

Austin Energy

2012

Economic Potential2011-20202,7842.6%R, C, I
UT

SWEEP, 20B Bonanza

2012

Achievable Potential2010-20206,2342.0%R, C, I
UT 

AEG/PacifiCorp Rocky Mountain Power

2017

Achievable Potential2017-20365,7690.9%R, C, I, Ir, S
VT

VEIC

2011

Achievable Potential2011-20312,3170.9%R, C, I
VT

VDPS/GDS, Cadmus

2011

Economic Potential2012-20311,6521.5%R, C, I
VA

ACEEE

2008

Economic Potential 2008-202544,3711.7%R, C, I
VA

Dominion VA/ DNV - GL

2015

Economic Potential 2014-202313,7361.1%R, C, I
WA 

PSE WA/ Navigant-Cadmus

2013

Achievable Potential2018-20375,238 R, C, I
WA 

Avista WA/ EnerNOC

2013

Economic Potential2014-20331,808 R, C, I
WA

AEG/PacfiCorp/Pacific Power

2017

Achievable Potential2017-20368421.0%R, C, I
WA

PUD No. 1 Cowlitz County/EES Consulting

2017

Achievable Potential72018-20375091.2%R, C, I, D
WA

Peninsula Light Company/Utility Consulting

2017

Achievable Potential

2017-202783  
WA

Tacoma Power

2017

Achievable Potential72018-2028278  
WA

Seattle City Light

2017

Economic Potential2018-20371,4280.7%R, C, I, S
WA

Lewis PUD/EES Consulting

2017

Achievable Potential72018-20371500.7%R, C, I, A, D
WA

Snohomish PUD

2015

Achievable Potential2016-2025623 R, C, I, A, D
WA

Inland/EES Consulting

2016

Achievable Potential72018-20371270.6%R, C, I, A, D
WA

Grant PUD/EES Consulting

2017

Achievable Potential72018-20373720.2%R, C, I, A, D
WA

Benton PUD/EES Consulting

2017

Achievable Potential72018-20372350.6%R, C, I, A, D
WI

Energy Center Wisconsin

2009

Economic Potential2012-201815,2311.8%R, C, I
WI 

PSC-WI Cadmus

2017

Economic Potential2017-203014,2992.0%R, C, G, A
WY 

SWEEP, 20B Bonanza

2012

Achievable Potential2010-20203,2381.6%R, C, I
WY

AEG/ PacifiCorp Rocky Mountain Power

2017

Achievable Potential2017-20361,6740.7%R, C, I, Ir, S

3 Economic and achievable potential are defined relative to the theoretical maximum, known as the technical potential. Technical energy efficiency potential is the total energy that could be saved by any 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 technical potential, is the energy savings that could be realistically achieved given real-world constraints, including market and programmatic barriers.
4 GWh – Gigawatt-hours. Where savings were not reported directly, savings were calculated either using applicable reported percentages or converting from average megawatt (aMW).
5 Average 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.
6 Sectors include: residential (R), commercial (C), industrial (I), irrigation (Ir), agriculture (A), mining (M), street lighting (where specifically called out as a sector) (S), military (M), water/wastewater (W), government (G), distribution (D) and behavior (B), retrocommissioning and operational (BRO) as indicated.

7 Several northwest potential studies, as noted here, filter first for achievability and then for cost-effectiveness to determine economic potential. These studies are noted as “achievable potential” in this catalog to align with the characterization used in this table where technical potential > economic potential > achievable potential. 

 

8 Note: Potential does not include codes and standards.

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.