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Electricity Intensity in the Commercial Sector: Market and Public Program Effects

Marvin J. Horowitz

Year: 2004
Volume: Volume 25
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol25-No2-6
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Abstract:
Publicly-funded energy efficiency programs have grown in number, size, and scope in the past two decades. The focus of many of these programs is the commercial buildings sector, which purchases approximately one-third of all the electricity produced in the United States. Using a fixed effects panel model, this study analyzes commercial sector electricity intensity across 42 states from 1989 to 2001; in aggregate, these states account for between 90 and 95 percent of U.S. commercial sector electricity sales. The analysis separates market effects from public program effects, finding that electric utility demand side management programs were responsible for reducing commercial sector electricity intensity in 2001 by 1.9 percent relative to the 1989 level. Further, rapidly expanding market transformation programs were responsible for reducing electricity intensity in this sector by 5.8 percent relative to the 1989 level. The findings suggest that in 2001 the combined effects of these public programs reduced commercial sector retail electricity sales by 77.1 million MWh, representing about 2.3 percent of total U.S. retail electricity sales.



Changes in Electricity Demand in the United States from the 1970s to 2003

Marvin J. Horowitz

Year: 2007
Volume: Volume 28
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol28-No3-6
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Abstract:
Gaining a better understanding of how electricity demand has changed over the past three decades, particularly in light of government involvement in influencing electricity demand, is an important step towards shaping energy policy in the U.S. and internationally. This study of U.S. electricity demand finds that those states that have moderate to strong commitment to energy efficiency programs reduce electricity intensity relative to what it would have been with weak program commitment; in the residential sector by 4.4 percent, in the commercial sector by 8.1 percent, and in the industrial sector by 11.8 percent. The findings are similar with respect to levels of electricity consumption in the commercial and industrial sectors, but not the residential sector. Moreover, the evidence in this paper indicates that energy efficiency program commitment in all three sectors of the U.S. economy has transformed electricity demand with respect to three key economic variables; electricity price, income as measured by per capita income or gross state product, and technological change. Also, this study finds that nationwide spillover from energy efficiency programs may be rapid and ubiquitous in the residential sector. Estimates of the impact of California�s energy efficiency programs confirm the speculation that these efforts have dramatically reduced state electricity intensity; to date, these impacts are likely the upper bounds of the impacts of strong state-level energy efficiency program commitment.





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