Is every kWh the same? How do energy efficiency measures stack up across regions?
The U.S. residential building sector is responsible for thirty-eight percent of electricity
use, as well as for 49%, 8%, 19% and 2% of U.S. SO2, NOx, CO2 and PM2.5 emissions,
respectively. The residential building sector is also a key target of customer funded energy
efficiency programs, which have typically been designed to reduce energy consumption (kWh).
Today, energy efficiency is also being used to meet air emissions goals. However, not every
kWh saved has the same mitigation potential. The goal of this work is to evaluate energy
efficiency potential in the U.S. residential building sector and determine how energy
conservation measures (ECMs) that reduce electricity consumption correlate to air emissions
reductions. To assess energy efficiency potential, this analysis uses Scout, a software program
developed by the U.S. Department of Energy that estimates the energy and CO2 impact potential
of various ECMs on the U.S. residential and commercial building sectors. Here, Scout is first
used to assess the total long term national energy (electricity, gas, and oil), CO2, and cost savings
of deploying residential ECM portfolios. Then, electricity savings results from Scout in 2021 are
used to assess the regional differences in emissions reductions with the AVoided Emissions and
geneRation Tool (AVERT) model from different end uses. Better understanding the relationship
between ECMs and cost-effective emission reductions will enable states, municipalities and
other interested parties to meet multiple policy objectives through energy efficiency.