How utility differences affect efficiency program outcomes
Energy efficiency program administrators in many states have worked together to create uniform statewide programs. Consistent rules and incentives reduce confusion, lower participation costs for customers and trade allies, and introduce economies in procuring program delivery services. Massachusetts has largely standardized the energy efficiency programs offered by the five electric and six gas utilities (“Program Administrators” or PAs) throughout the Commonwealth. Despite standardized offers, the various PAs are achieving different savings levels and experiencing different levels of administrative costs. With relatively uniform program tracking data, this situation provides an excellent setting to explore the effect of differences among administrators in terms of market characteristics, past program activities and outcomes, and detailed program operations on results achieved. For this study we combined several large data sets, including billing and rebate tracking data from all of the Massachusetts Program Administrators for multiple years and the results of a statewide building characteristics survey.