Updated Guidebook for Energy Efficiency Cost-Benefit Analysis Issued

A comprehensive national guide for utility-funded energy efficiency programs has been issued to help utilities, regulators, State Energy Officials, and other stakeholders make better energy efficiency decisions for their jurisdictions.

The National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) offers a framework and key principles for cost-effectiveness assessment of energy efficiency resources that can be extended to other energy resources. Current cost-effectiveness tests are commonly drawn from the California Standard Practice Manual but have been applied inconsistently. Also, states and other jurisdictions are looking to broaden their cost-effectiveness frameworks to consider evolving utility energy contexts, including integrated distributed energy resources. The NSPM, developed by a broad group of national organizations and experts (the National Efficiency Screening Project), serves as a step to help jurisdictions evolve their practices.

The NSPM builds off of established cost-effectiveness assessment approaches to add:

  • Universal Principles for cost-effectiveness assessments,
  • A step-by-step Resource Value Framework for jurisdictions to develop their own primary cost-effectiveness test to address their policy goals and contexts in light of evolving utility systems and deployment of distributed energy resources, and
  • Foundational information on inputs and considerations in selecting and quantifying costs and benefits.

The NSPM describes the principles, concepts, and methodologies for comprehensive and balanced assessment of the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency resources. It can help parties to identify a full range of cost-effective energy efficiency resources and support resource acquisition decisions that meet state and jurisdictional goals and targets.

The NSPM and supporting materials are available at https://nationalefficiencyscreening.org.