Energy Efficiency in Appalachia: How Much More is Available, at What Cost, and by When?

The Appalachian Region’s energy consumption is expected to increase 28 percent between 2006 and 2030, compared with a 19 percent increase forecast for the United States as a whole. Research indicates that strong policy interventions will be needed to promote energy-efficient purchases and practices that could help the Region meet its future energy needs while ensuring its continued economic and environmental health. This study assesses the long-term energy-efficiency gains that could be achieved by implementing an ambitious package of energy-efficiency policies throughout Appalachia. It examines the breadth of energy-efficiency resources in Appalachia; the timeframe for harnessing these resources; and the policies and programs that could most effectively translate these resources into energy savings, as well as the impact those policies and programs could have on jobs and wages in Appalachia. The engineering-economic modeling conducted in the study concludes that such policies could result in significant energy savings and positively impact the Appalachian economy.