Text Size AAA Bookmark and Share

Turbocharging Energy Efficiency Programs

It is a new era for utility efficiency programs. Policymakers and regulators have required many utilities to achieve more efficiency savings than ever before, and the amount utilities spend on efficiency continues to increase at a rapid pace. Momentum for utility efficiency programs has never been greater.

Utilities have been providing efficiency to their customers for more than 30 years. But just continuing on with a “business-as-usual” mindset will not be sufficient if utilities hope to sustain the momentum and meet (or exceed) their efficiency targets. Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) have set challenging energy savings targets, and to meet these targets, utilities will have to improve their performance in administering programs. If utilities don’t make significant progress, utility efficiency programs will fail to deliver on increasingly aggressive targets.


To improve their performance, utilities will need to turbocharge their efficiency programs by going for both broader and deeper savings. Going broader means acquiring more participants, while going deeper means helping each participant save more energy.

In Turbocharging Energy Efficiency Programs, we analyze the challenges that utilities themselves face for going broader and deeper, and then offer recommendations to increase the effectiveness of programs. We have grouped these recommendations into four main categories:

  • Making marketing work
  • Improving sales execution
  • Driving down transaction costs
  • Embracing collaboration

In order to illustrate how these recommendations look in practice, we also highlight six efficiency programs run by utilities and third-party administrators.

Contact Us

E-mail us at TurbochargeEE@rmi.org

Additional Resources

Nowak, Seth, Martin Kushler, Michael Sciortino, Dan York, and Patti Wite. 2011. Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: State and Utility Strategies for Higher Energy Savings. ACEEE, June 15.

Fuller, M., C. Kunkel, M. Zimring, I. Hoffman, K.L. Soroye, and C. Goldman. 2010. Driving Demand for Home Energy Improvements: Motivating residential customers to invest in comprehensive upgrades that eliminate energy waste, avoid high bills, and spur the economy. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Granade, Hannah Choi, Jon Creyts, Anton Derkach, Phillip Farese, Scott Nyquist, and Ken Ostrowski. 2009. Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy. McKinsey & Company.

Show Subscribe