*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper argues that regulatory, financial and information policies can effectively promote energy efficiency adoption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. Engineering-economic analysis of eleven representative policies in the buildings and industrial sectors was conducted based on energy modeling with the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). Evidence of technology shifts suggests that energy efficiency policies can shift markets away from, for instance, low-efficiency furnaces and boilers to high-efficiency heat pumps, and from incandescent lighting to LED lighting. These policies can also cost-effectively improve the average efficiency of water-heating, ventilation and refrigeration in buildings. In addition, the market uptake of industrial combined heat and power systems and NEMA premium motors are observed under policy scenarios.
Analysis of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) saved from these policies indicates that regulatory and information policies have large GHG abatement potential, which can be achieved with costs lower than their energy saving benefits. However, the average LCOE of financial policies exceeds the market price of carbon permits due to high monetary requirements for providing financial incentives. Based on the cost estimations of eleven representative energy efficiency policies, a policy supply curve was constructed to illustrate the policy pathway toward low-cost abatement.
Overall, the policies decrease the economy-wide energy intensity by 5%, while residential buildings experience a 15% increase in energy efficiency in 2035. Energy efficiency policies can significantly increase the stock average efficiency of commercial building appliances and equipment. The nation as a whole is projected to save 326 million tonnes of CO2, resulting in a 5% decrease in carbon intensity in 2035. Our results suggest that building energy codes, appliance standard, and information policies such as benchmarking and market priming are among the most cost-effective U.S. mitigation policies.