Journal Article
Estimating energy savings from benchmarking policies in New York City

A growing number of governments have begun to implement benchmarking or energy disclosure policies. By requiring owners to measure and disclose their energy use, these policies are intended to transform the market for energy-efficient investments in existing buildings. To improve future policy efforts, two critical questions are: first, how much energy do these policies save? and second, what particular aspects of these policies are most effective? To answer these questions, this study explores how different aspects of these policies were phased-in to different groups of buildings over the first four years of the City of New York's benchmarking ordinance. By applying a novel difference-in-differences strategy, we can causally attribute observed declines in energy consumption to specific owner behaviors and policy mechanisms. Our analysis indicates that in comparison with the control group and before the policies were implemented in 2011, total disclosure of both energy use and Energy Star together can be credited with a 6% reduction in building energy use intensity (EUI) three years later and a 14% reduction in EUI four years later. Disclosure of Energy Star scores decreased building EUI by 9% three years later and 13% four years later. These two separate findings are a consequence of the policy design and different control groups.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMeng T, Hsu D, Han A
JournalEnergy
Volume133
Pagination415-423
Abstract

A growing number of governments have begun to implement benchmarking or energy disclosure policies. By requiring owners to measure and disclose their energy use, these policies are intended to transform the market for energy-efficient investments in existing buildings. To improve future policy efforts, two critical questions are: first, how much energy do these policies save? and second, what particular aspects of these policies are most effective? To answer these questions, this study explores how different aspects of these policies were phased-in to different groups of buildings over the first four years of the City of New York's benchmarking ordinance. By applying a novel difference-in-differences strategy, we can causally attribute observed declines in energy consumption to specific owner behaviors and policy mechanisms. Our analysis indicates that in comparison with the control group and before the policies were implemented in 2011, total disclosure of both energy use and Energy Star together can be credited with a 6% reduction in building energy use intensity (EUI) three years later and a 14% reduction in EUI four years later. Disclosure of Energy Star scores decreased building EUI by 9% three years later and 13% four years later. These two separate findings are a consequence of the policy design and different control groups.

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217309209