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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Behavioral Assumptions Underlying California Residential Sector Energy Efficiency Programs

  • Author(s): Lutzenhiser, Loren
  • et al.

This white paper explores the ways in which residential consumers are addressed by California utility-managed energy efficiency programs, and offers suggestions for improvements that might better support the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. The report reviews the assumptions that underlie the state’s residential energy efficiency policies and programs. A key set of assumptions can be found in a physical-technical-economic model (PTEM) that has oriented energy efficiency program design for several decades. The authors examine a suite of programs currently in operation and identify four somewhat different approaches being taken to influenceconsumer behavior and choice. They are variants of the PTEM, but also diverge by adding somewhat more realistic elements.

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