Where Have All the Data Gone? The Crisis of Missing Energy Efficiency Data

Research Report E101


Rachel Gold and R. Neal Elliott


Energy efficiency represents one of the most effective resources for addressing the challenges of climate change, economic productivity, and national security. All levels of government, and many businesses, rely upon accurate energy efficiency analyses in order to shape policy and outline business growth plans. Significant increases in investment in energy efficiency in federal and state legislation (like the ARRA 2009, or stimulus, spending) and private sector investment necessitate improved data collection. The role of good, reliable, and timely data becomes even more imperative given the scale of energy efficiency investment necessary to tackle the climate change problem.

Dependable and accurate analyses require good energy and market data, much of which has historically been collected by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and other governmental data agencies. In the past twenty years, Congress has consistently under-funded these data collection agencies, leading to spotty and uneven data quality, and resulting in information gaps that impede good analysis.

This report identifies existing data gaps and provides justification for enhanced funding of data collection related to energy efficiency in FY 2011 and beyond.

ACEEE has compiled data on EIA funding levels over the past 32 years.