By Christa Marshall
A study from the University of Chicago and New York University is questioning the performance of a Department of Energy efficiency program.
The analysis, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, found that the costs of residential audit programs in Wisconsin were greater than their energy savings and environmental benefits.
DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which received more than $2.5 billion from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, backed the state programs.
One of the authors, University of Chicago professor Michael Greenstone, participated in a 2015 analysis of DOE’s weatherization assistance efforts that found similar lackluster performance and generated extensive pushback from the environmental community (Greenwire, March 29).
“This study confirms past studies, including one by myself, Meredith Fowlie and Catherine Wolfram, finding that the costs of some residential energy efficiency programs exceeded their benefits,” said Greenstone, director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago…
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