energy efficiency and government

Sensible Subsidies

February 4, 2016 by Energy @ MIT

Designing Useful Subsidies

Governments often offer subsidies to consumers for clean-technology products, from home solar panels to electric vehicles. But what are the right levels of subsidy? Governments can easily make subsidies too low when they ignore a basic problem: Consumer demand for these products is usually highly uncertain.[read more]

The Failure of the UK's Green Deal Program Offers Lessons for US Efficiency Programs

August 5, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

UK Green Deal

The Green Deal was a flop. On paper, it sounded like a great idea. The U.K.’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) wanted to build a public-private partnership that would give homeowners £10,000 ($16,500) to support energy efficiency improvements, with no upfront costs.[read more]


Carbon Reduction through Energy Efficiency Isn’t Just a One-Man Show

Carbon Reduction and Energy Efficiency

Though ambitious carbon emission reduction goals are not exactly anything new, over the course of this past year there have been some exciting developments in pushing the envelope on carbon standards at the national and local levels in the United States.[read more]

A Roadmap to Energy Efficiency in California

March 31, 2015 by Christine Hertzog

The California Public Utilities Commission released a draft document on energy efficiency that functions as a “10 year roadmap to activate market forces and transform California’s existing residential, commercial, and public building stock into high performing and energy efficient buildings.”[read more]

Congressional Candidates and Energy Efficiency: Intentionally Vague?

November 4, 2014 by Wendy Formichelli

Elections and Energy Policy

As our nation votes in the 2014 midterm elections, it’s important we identify which issues are most important to us and whether our candidate(s) of choice represent us well. Is energy policy an issue that resonates with you? Do you know where your candidates stand?[read more]

Why is the Economy Still Weak? Blame Lending Policy that Ignores Efficiency

August 9, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Bill Irwin of the New York Times asks “Why is the economy still weak?” and blames five underperforming sectors. Housing is his leading culprit. So why is housing still weak? Irwin does suggest the beginning of a reason, but does not carry it through in his piece this week. So I will do this next.[read more]

Global Ranking for Energy Efficiency: US Near Bottom, Germany Near Top

July 21, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Energy Efficiency Scorecard

Many industry observers will not be surprised to find out that Germany outranks the U.S. in terms of energy efficiency, according to the second International Energy Efficiency Scorecard. But it’s not just the Germans that best the U.S. in this category.[read more]

Energy Efficiency Prospects Surge for Minnesota Utilities

June 29, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Minnesota Efficiency Surge

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has rejected a two-fold increase in fixed charges for CenterPoint Energy Resource’s residential customers, and ordered a mechanism, decoupling, for the gas utility that’s aimed at encouraging more energy savings for the state’s homes, businesses and industry.[read more]

Energy Efficiency Critical To Achieving EPA Carbon Standards, Boosting the Economy

June 7, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Energy Efficiency and EPA Rule Proposal


There is overwhelming evidence that saving energy lowers electric bills while increasing comfort, supporting a growing workforce, and reducing carbon pollution. That’s why the EPA and others are betting energy efficiency will play a major role in meeting the EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards.[read more]


Spurring a Manufacturing Renaissance: Increasing Competitiveness through Energy Efficiency

April 16, 2014 by Matthew Stepp

Efficiency and Competitiveness

United States Representative Matt Cartwright recently introduced the Job Creation through Energy Efficient Manufacturing Act (H.R. 4162), which would encourage the use of energy efficient technologies in the manufacturing sector of the economy.[read more]

New Organization Could Help Push Energy Efficiency Programs to Even Higher Levels

April 13, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

The California Technical Forum (Cal TF) will be comprised of experts who use independent professional judgment and a transparent process to develop and review energy-savings estimates related to California’s energy efficiency programs, policies, and energy resource plans.[read more]

New Senate Bill Would Provide Important Incentives for Energy Efficiency

April 4, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

The Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives Act, S. 2189, introduced late yesterday by three Democratic senators, would improve the efficiency of our homes, workplaces, and industry by reinstating and improving important efficiency tax incentives.[read more]

Efficiency, Not Just the Recession, Drove US Energy Savings Since 2007

March 24, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Energy Efficiency and the Recession

The growth of electricity use has been falling for decades, but it will likely flatten out in coming years to an annual growth rate of less than 2 percent. The decline is due to many factors, from changing weather and economic recessions to the wider adoption of energy efficiency measures.[read more]

Energy Efficiency: A Pillar of Chile's Energy Future, Part 1

March 24, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Earlier this week I wrote about how Chile’s non-conventional renewable energy sector is booming and will play a key role in the future of the country’s energy mix. Another clean energy sector that is often overlooked in the country is energy efficiency.[read more]

Why Is California's Efficiency Program Struggling to Gain Traction?

January 9, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

After spending more than $230 million on a wide-reaching efficiency program over the last three years, California has only reached a fraction of its retrofit goals -- and has spent much more on administrative costs than on the actual projects.[read more]