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The Trouble with Freeriders

The debate about freeridership in energy efficiency isn’t wrong, but it is wrongheaded.

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2012

the Energy Division, California Public Utilities Commission, 2007.

17. For an ample discussion of this topic, see Peters, Jane S. and Marjorie McRae, “Freeridership Measurement Is Out of Sync with Program Logic … or, We’ve Got the Structure Built, but What’s Its Foundation?” Proceedings, ACEEE Summer Study , Monterey, Calif., August 2008.

18. For a discussion of how alternative scoring methods might alter the results, see Kenneth M. Keating, “Freeridership Borscht: Don’t Salt the Soup,” Proceedings, International Energy Program Evaluation Conference , Portland, OR, August 2009.

19. Peters, Jane S. and Marjorie McRae, op.cit.

20. Stern, Paul C., T. Dietz, T. Abel, G.A. Guagnano, L. Kalof, “A value-belief-norm theory of support for social movements: The case of environmentalism,” Human Ecology Review 6 (2).

21. Chappell, Catherin, et al., “Net Savings in Nonresidential New Construction: Is a Market Based Approach the Answer?” Proceedings, International Energy Program Evaluation Conference , New York, 2005.

22. Ridge, Richard, “The Origins of the Misunderstood and Occasionally Maligned Self-Report Approach to Estimating the Net-To-Gross Ratio,” International Energy Program Evaluation Conference , Portland, Ore., August 2009.

23. Erickson, Jeff and Mary Klos, “Freeridership: Arbitrary Algorithms vs. Consistent Calculations,” Proceedings, International Energy Program Evaluation Conference , Portland, Ore., August 2009.

24. TecMarket Works, California 2002-2003 Portfolio Energy Efficiency Program Effects and Evaluation Summary Report , prepared for Southern California Edison Co., January 2006, p. 41, 68-69.

25. California Public Utilities Commission, Guidelines for Estimating Net to Gross Ratios Using Self Report Approach , CPUC Energy Division, October 2007.

26. Tetra Tech, Massachusetts Program Administrators Cross-Cutting C&I Freeridership and Spillover Methodology Study Final Report , Prepared for Massachusetts Program Administrators, April 18, 2011, Revised May 20, 2011.

27. Friedman, Rafael, “Maximizing Societal Uptake of Energy Efficiency in the New Millennium: Time for Net-to-Gross to Get Out of the Way?” Proceedings, International Energy Program Evaluation Conference , Chicago, August 2007.

28. The surveyed jurisdictions were Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

29. Quantum Consulting (now part of Itron). This study was managed by Pacific Gas & Electric under the auspices of the California Public Utility Commission in association with the California Energy Commission. The information from the study is available here.

30. California Public Utilities Commission, Standard Practice for Cost-Benefit Analysis of Conservation and Load Management Programs , 1983, revised in 1988, 1992 and 2001. The Clarification Memorandum was issued by CPUC in 2007.

31. Heins, Stephen, “Energy Efficiency and the Spectre of Freeridership, Is a Kilowatt Saved Really a Kilowatt Saved?” Proceedings, ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings , Monterey, Calif., August 2006.

32. Fagan, Jennifer, et.al, A Meta-Analysis of Net to Gross Estimates in California , Proceedings, Association of Energy Services Professionals Conference, 2009.

33. Model Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide , National Action Plan for Energy efficiency, November 2007, prepared by Schiller Associates, November 2007.

34. Personal conversation with Dr. Ben Bronfman, a member

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