International Review of Frameworks for Impact Evaluation of Appliance Standards, Labeling, and Incentives
In recent years, the number of energy efficiency policies implemented has grown very rapidly as energy security and climate change have become top policy issues for many governments around the world. Within the sphere of energy efficiency policy, governments (federal and local), electric utilities, and other types of businesses and institutions are implementing a wide variety of programs to spread energy efficiency practices in industry, buildings, transport, and electricity. As programs proliferate, there is an administrative and business imperative to evaluate the savings and processes of these programs to ensure that program funds spent are indeed leading to a more energy-efficient economy. The field of energy efficiency program evaluation grew out of this imperative and has the following primary objectives:
- to measure and verify the impacts of a specific energy efficiency program
- to evaluate the processes of a specific energy efficiency program
- to inform program managers' and policymakers' decision making in both assessing market potential and improving program design
Within these three objectives, there is an emphasis on both measuring the impacts of a program as well as analyzing the processes by which a program works. Because evaluation is becoming increasingly important, it is becoming a standard practice in certain regions to set aside a portion of a program's budget (for example, 2-4%) for evaluation, even before the project has begun.