Advanced Metering Initiatives and Residential Feedback Programs: A Meta-Review for Household Electricity-Saving Opportunities

Research Report E105


Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, Kat A. Donnelly, and John A. “Skip” Laitner


A variety of new feedback initiatives – including real-time Web-based or in-home feedback devices and enhanced billing approaches – are making energy resources visible to residential consumers throughout the United States (and many other developed countries). These initiatives are opening the door to potential energy savings that, on average, have reduced individual household electricity consumption 4 to 12% across our multi-continent sample. In so doing, feedback is proving a critical first step in engaging and empowering consumers to thoughtfully manage their energy resources. On a national scale, our estimates indicate that feedback programs for the residential sector might generate electricity savings that range from as little as 0.4% to more than 6% of total residential electricity consumption. If broadly implemented throughout the United States using well-designed programs, residential sector feedback programs could provide the equivalent of 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity savings annually by 2030.  At this scale, such tools will enable aggregate residential sector energy savings that, in turn, provide a substantial contribution to U.S. energy security and climate goals as well as consumer pocketbook savings.