Reaching Rural Communities with Energy Efficiency Programs

Research Report U1807


Mary Shoemaker, Annie Gilleo, Jill Ferguson


Rural communities have unique energy needs that make it challenging for utilities, state energy offices, and other program implementers to deliver energy efficiency to customers. Infrastructure, energy use, and fuel mix in rural areas often differ from their metropolitan counterparts. Rural energy efficiency stakeholders—including smaller utilities, rural-based organizations, and agricultural customers—may also be distinctive. This report highlights six energy efficiency programs serving rural areas. It describes trends across programs for rural customers and offers recommendations to help utilities and other stakeholders better serve these communities.