Trends in Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs: Today’s Leaders and Directions for the Future

Research Report IE091


Anna K. Chittum, R. Neal Elliott, and Nate Kaufman


Energy efficiency programs focusing specifically on the industrial sector and administered by utilities, state public benefit entities and regional market transformation organizations are growing in response to rising energy efficiency goals. As more and more states look to establish industrial-focused efficiency programs and existing programs look to expand their reach to achieve greater savings, there is an apparent lack of best practices information in the administration and deployment of such practices. This paper looks at existing literature on the subject and also incorporates new primary research collected from current industrial energy efficiency program managers to assess the current state of programs and emerging trends in them.

This paper discusses the history of industrial energy efficiency programs, what we know about how industrial firms make energy efficiency investments, the current state of industrial energy efficiency programs, and future issues and challenges facing such programs. It also has two special in-depth sections: the issue of self-directed industrial energy efficiency programs (sometimes called “opt out”) and important lessons for those looking to start brand new industrial energy efficiency programs.