Energy Policy Act of 1992

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) sought to comprehensively address U.S. energy needs, including an energy efficiency title that included several energy efficiency provisions. ACEEE estimated that these provisions had the potential to save about 2-6 Quads of energy per year between 2000 and 2010, which would be equivalent to about 2- 6% energy savings per year.  Major energy efficiency provisions of the Act included building energy efficiency standards, equipment energy efficiency standards (including motor standards), residential energy efficiency ratings, regional lighting and building centers, federal energy management, electric and gas utility regulatory reform, least-cost planning for federal electric utilities, and energy efficiency R&D, among others. 

ACEEE and the Alliance to Save Energy conducted a review of the law five years after passage and, despite the comprehensive nature of the energy efficiency provisions, found that many of the provisions were voluntary and were largely ignored.  For example, provisions calling for state action were ignored by many states, and only resulted in policy changes in a few states.  Ultimately, most of the energy efficiency savings came from a few key provisions, including a series of new equipment standards for commercial heating and air-conditioning equipment, electric motors, and lamps, equipment efficiency ratings, improvements to building codes, and R&D efforts.