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Energy Resources for State and Local Governments

Quantifying the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: A Guide for State and Local Governments

State and local energy efficiency and renewable energy investments can produce significant benefits, including lower fuel and electricity costs, increased grid reliability, better air quality and public health, and more job opportunities. While the costs of clean energy initiatives get the most attention, less is devoted to the many benefits of clean energy, often because there isn't a clear understanding of the benefits and how to estimate them.

EPA’s 2018 edition of Quantifying the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: A Guide for State and Local Governments describes methods, tools, and steps analysts can use to quantify these benefits so that they can compare costs and benefits and comprehensively assess the value of energy policy and program choices.

Part One of the Guide describes the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy and explains the value of quantifying these benefits so that they are considered along with costs.

In Part Two, the Guide:

  • shows policy makers and analysts how they can quantify the direct electricity, electricity system, emissions, health, and economic benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • provides detailed information about a range of basic-to-sophisticated methods analysts can use to quantify each of these benefits, with key considerations and helpful tips for choosing and using the methods
  • in­cludes case studies and examples of how analysts have quantified the benefits of state or local energy efficiency and renewable energy policies, programs, and investments, and
  • describe tools and resources available for quantifying each type of benefit.

Analysts can use the 2018 Guide to learn how to quantify the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.

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  • Part One - The Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Part One: The Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    Acknowledgments (2)
    Preface (3)
    1.1. Overview: Assessing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (4)
        1.1.1. Assessing Benefits with Costs (5)
        1.1.2. Filling Information Gaps (6)
    1.2. What Are the Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy? (6)
        1.2.1. Electricity System Benefits (8)
        1.2.2. Emissions and Health Benefits (10)
        1.2.3. Economic Benefits (12)
    1.3. References (16)

  • Part Two, Chapter One: Quantifying the Benefits: An Overview of the Analytic Framework

    Part Two, Chapter One: Quantifying the Benefits: An Overview of the Analytic Framework
    1.1. Overview: A Framework for Quantifying the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (2)
        1.1.1. Step 1: Determine the Scope of and Strategy for the Analysis (2)
        1.1.2. Step 2: Determine Direct Electricity Impacts (7)
        1.1.3. Step 3: Quantify the Multiple Benefits From Direct Electricity Impacts (7)
        1.1.4. Step 4: Use Benefits Information to Support Informed Decision-Making (8)
    1.2. Part Two Roadmap (12)
    1.3. References (13)

  • Part Two, Chapter Two: Estimating the Direct Electricity Impacts of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Part Two, Chapter Two: Estimating the Direct Electricity Impacts of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    2.1. Overview (2)
    2.2. Approach (2)
        2.2.1. Step 1: Develop a BAU Energy Forecast (4)
        2.2.2. Step 2: Estimate Potential Direct Electricity Impacts (13)
        2.2.3. Step 3: Create an Alternative Policy Forecast (25)
    2.3. Case Studies (25)
        2.3.1. Texas Building Code (25)
        2.3.2. Vermont – Energy Demand and Energy Savings Forecasting (27)
    2.4. Tools and Resources (30)
        2.4.1. Tools and Resources for Step 1: Develop a BAU Forecast (30)
        2.4.2. Tools and Resources for Step 2: Estimate Potential Direct Electricity Impacts (35)
        2.4.3. Tools and Resources for Step 3: Create an Alternative Policy Forecast (39)
    2.5. References (41)

  • Part Two, Chapter Three: Assessing the Electricity System Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Part Two, Chapter Three: Assessing the Electricity System Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    3.1. Overview (2)
    3.2. Approach (3)
        3.2.1. Understanding Primary vs. Secondary Electricity Benefits (4)
        3.2.2. Selecting What Benefits to Evaluate (5)
        3.2.3. Selecting a Method for Quantifying the Electricity System Benefits (6)
        3.2.4. Methods for Quantifying Primary Electricity System Benefits (8)
        3.2.5. Methods for Quantifying Secondary Electricity System Benefits (31)
    3.3. Case Studies (42)
        3.3.1. California Utilities’ Energy Efficiency Programs (42)
        3.3.2. Energy Efficiency and Distributed Generation in Massachusetts (47)
    3.4. Tools and Resources (49)
        3.4.1. Tools and Resources for Quantifying Primary Electricity System Benefits (49)
        3.4.2. Tools and Resources for Quantifying Secondary Electricity System Benefits (57)
    3.5. References (59)

  • Part Two, Chapter Four: Quantifying the Emissions and Health Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Part Two, Chapter Four: Quantifying the Emissions and Health Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    4.1. Overview (2)
    4.2. Approach (2)
        4.2.1. Step 1: Develop and Project a Baseline Emissions Profile (4)
        4.2.2. Step 2: Quantify Expected Emissions Reductions (9)
        4.2.3. Step 3: Estimate Air Quality Changes From Reductions (24)
        4.2.4. Step 4: Quantify Health and Related Economic Effects (26)
    4.3. Case Studies (32)
        4.3.1. Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – Emissions and Health Benefits (32)
        4.3.2. Environmental and Health Co-Benefits from U.S. Residential Energy Efficiency Measures (35)
        4.3.3. Minnesota Power’s Boswell Unit Retrofit – Emissions and Health Benefits (38)
        4.3.4. New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan – Emissions and Health Benefits (41)
    4.4. Tools and Resources (42)
        4.4.1. Tools and Resources for Step 1: Develop and Project a Baseline Emissions Profile (42)
        4.4.2. Tools and Resources for Step 2: Quantify Expected Emissions Reductions (50)
        4.4.3. Tools and Resources for Step 3: Estimate Air Quality Changes From Reductions (57)
        4.4.4. Tools and Resources for Step 4: Quantify Health and Related Economic Effects (60)
        4.4.5. Examples of Emission, Air Quality, and Health Benefit Analyses Conducted with EPA’s AVERT and/or COBRA (64)
    4.5. References (67)

  • Part Two, Chapter Five: Estimating the Economic Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Part Two, Chapter Five: Estimating the Economic Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    5.1. Overview (2)
    5.2. Approach (3)
        5.2.1. Step 1: Determine the Method of Analysis and Level of Effort (3)
        5.2.2. Step 2: Quantify Direct Costs and Savings from the Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy Initiative (11)
        5.2.3. Step 3: Apply the Method to Estimate Macroeconomic Impacts (15)
    5.3. Case Studies (16)
        5.3.1. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Investments in Montana (16)
        5.3.2. Southeast Region: The Impact of Energy Efficiency Investments Under DOE’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Programs (19)
        5.3.3. The Economic Impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative 2015–2017 (22)
        5.3.4. California: Analyzing Economic Impacts of the California’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Programs (26)
        5.3.5. Quantifying the Economic Benefits of Energy Efficiency Policies in Vermont (28)
        5.3.6. Analyzing the Impacts of the Green Communities Act Using Two Different Models (Mass.) (30)
        5.3.7. Applying the Steps in a Macroeconomic Analysis: Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program (32)
    5.4. Tools and Resources (34)
        5.4.1. Tools and Resources for Step 1: Determine the Method of Analysis and Level of Effort (34)
        5.4.2. Tools and Resources for Step 2: Quantify Direct Costs and Savings from the Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy Initiative (38)
        5.4.3. Tools and Resources for Step 3: Estimate the Macroeconomic Impacts (39)
        5.4.4. Examples of State-Level Economic Analyses Performed with Commonly Used Tools (39)
    5.5. References (43)