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Title: Residential Energy Efficiency Potential: Iowa


Energy used by Iowa single-family homes that can be saved through cost-effective improvements. Prepared by Eric Wilson and Noel Merket, NREL, and Erin Boyd, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.

  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; ResStock; residential; EPSA; state; energy efficiency

Citation Formats

Wilson, Eric J. Residential Energy Efficiency Potential: Iowa. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Wilson, Eric J. Residential Energy Efficiency Potential: Iowa. United States.
Wilson, Eric J. 2017. "Residential Energy Efficiency Potential: Iowa". United States. doi:.
title = {Residential Energy Efficiency Potential: Iowa},
author = {Wilson, Eric J},
abstractNote = {Energy used by Iowa single-family homes that can be saved through cost-effective improvements. Prepared by Eric Wilson and Noel Merket, NREL, and Erin Boyd, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =
  • The purpose of this study was to do an initial estimate of the potential for energy savings in the state of Iowa. Several methods for determining savings were examined, including existing programs, surveys, savings calculators, and economic simulation. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, trading off between detail of information, accuracy of results, and scope. This paper concentrated on using economic simulation (the NEMS model (EIA 2000a)) to determine market potential for energy savings for the residential and commercial sectors. The results of surveys were used to calculate the economic potential for savings in the industrial sector. The NEMS model is used by the Energy Information Administration to calculate twenty-year projections of energy use for every region of the country. The results of the Annual Energy Outlook 2000 were used as the Base case (EIA 1999a). Two alternative cases were created to simulate energy savings policies. Voluntary, market-related programs were simulated by lowering the effective discount rates that end-users use when making decisions on equipment purchases. Standards programs in the residential sector were simulated by eliminating the availability of low efficiency equipment in future years. The parameters for these programs were based on the Moderate scenario from the DOE Clean Energy Futures study (Interlaboratory Working Group 2000), which assumed increased concern by society on energy efficiency but not to the point of fiscal policies such as taxes or direct subsidies. The study only considered a subset of the various programs, policies, and technologies that could reduce energy use. The major end-uses in the residential sector affected by the policies were space cooling (20% savings by 2020) and water heating (14% savings by 2020.) Figure S-1 shows the space cooling savings when voluntary programs and minimum efficiency standards were implemented. Refrigerators, freezers, and clothes dryers saw slight improvements. The study did not involve changes to the building shell (e.g., increased insulation) or residential lighting improvements. Nevertheless, the residential sector's market potential for electrical energy savings was calculated to be 5.3% of expected electrical use, representing 850 GWh by 2020. Natural gas savings could be 2.4% of expected gas use, representing 2.1 trillion Btus. Using expected prices for energy in that year, these represent savings ofmore » $47 million and $$12 million per year. In the commercial sector, the study only considered voluntary market-based policies for some of the technologies. The most notable savings were in ventilation (12% savings by 2020), lighting (12% savings), refrigeration (7% savings), water heating (6% savings), and space heating (5% savings by 2020). The commercial sector's market potential for electrical energy savings based on the programs modeled was calculated to be 5.1% of its total expected electrical use, representing 605 GWh of power by 2020. Natural gas savings were 2.3 trillion Btu, 3.7% of use. Using the same prices as the residential sector (5.5{cents}/kWh and $$5.74/MBtu), the savings represent $33 million and $13 million per year, respectively.« less
  • The IECC was updated in 2006. As required in the Energy Conservation and Production Act of 1992, Title 3, DOE has a legislative requirement to "determine whether such revision would improve energy efficiency in residential buildings" within 12 months of the latest revision. This requirement is part of a three-year cycle of regular code updates. To meet this requirement, an independent review was completed using personnel experienced in building science but not involved in the code development process.
  • The focus of this report is to explore, in a speculative way, the energy saving potential associated with certain gas-related productive conservation measures for Nebraska homes. Currently, market available energy efficient natural gas furnaces, water heaters, and major appliances offer cost effective and technically feasible energy and dollar saving solutions for consumers. Additionally, in some cases, the retrofit of electronic spark igniters and flue dampers are also technically and economically prudent for the consumer. One key solution for Nebraska to minimize dollar exports for natural gas imports is to reduce natural gas consumption through the more efficient use of it,more » thereby making existing supplies available for other consumers. The State of Nebraska in cooperation with the federal government and the Nebraska natural gas industry can accelerate the widespread adoption of these energy conservation devices through reasonable regulatory policies and financial incentives, coupled with reliable public information on these measures. Nebraska can by the year 2000 reduce from 10 to 20% of its current residential natural gas consumption through the widespread adoption of these devices.« less
  • Today's 85 million US homes use $100 billion of fuel and electricity ($1150/home) annually. If their energy intensity (resource energy/ft/sup 2/) were still frozen at 1973 levels, they would use 19% more. With well-insulated houses, need for space heat is vanishing. Superinsulated Saskatchewan homes spend annually only $270 for space heat, $150 for water heat, and $400 for appliances, yet they cost only $2000 +/- $1000 more than conventional new homes. The concept of Cost of Conserved Energy (CCE) is used to rank conservation technologies for existing and new homes and appliances, and to develop supply curves of conserved energymore » and a least cost scenario. Calculations are calibrated with the BECA and other data bases. By limiting investments in efficiency to those whose CCE is less than current fuel and electricity prices, the potential residential plus commercial energy use in 2000 AD drops to half of that estimated by DOE, and the number of power plants needed drops by 200. For the whole buildings sector, potential savings by 2000 are 8 Mbod (worth $50B/year), at an average CCE of $10/barrel. 6 references, 17 figures, 2 tables.« less
  • Conserved energy is treated as a new energy source. Its potential is measured with supply curves that have been previously used only for economic assessments of tangible energy sources. Data on energy savings in individual homes and in the use of specific appliances are examined and then their conclusions are extrapolated to California residential sector. These estimates make it possible to compare the cost of energy conservation with the cost of searching for new conventional energy supplies or the cost of building new power plants. (MHR)