Assessing Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Programs in a Low-Price Environment
Abundant, affordable natural gas has emerged as a central feature of the U.S. energy economy. Dramatic increases in economically recoverable natural gas ha ve made gas relatively inexpensive — at least in the short run – with resulting cost savings for consumers. However, low natural gas prices place gas efficiency programs at a crossroads. Some program administrators and state regulators are finding that conventional analyses, which only consider a narrow set of energy-savings related efficiency program benefits, are now resulting in many natural gas efficiency programs failing to pass the criteria used to screen programs for cost-effectiveness. This policy brief provides several considerations for regulators and policymakers to weigh when evaluating the costs, benefits and future of natural gas energy efficiency programs.