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Potential savings in U.S. buildings sector by study


Beyond Reinventing Fire, there are many other studies assessing the U.S. efficiency potential. Despite differences in their assumptions, all studies conclude that the efficiency opportunity is significant and we must pursue it aggressively.

The conclusions of these studies should not be compared directly because their methodologies are so different. McKinsey, EPRI, and the National Academy of Sciences estimated the techno-economic potential. RMI also assessed the techno-economic potential but also made assumptions about the level of adoption for the Reinventing Fire vision. Note that the four studies consider adoption by a variety of dates. Broadly, RMI’s estimated savings are consistent with (if not below) the trendlines of other studies, except that RMI explicitly analyzes the integrative-design opportunities that NAS alone discussed but didn’t analyze.


A. Gellings, C. W, G. Wikler, and D. Ghosh. 2006. “Assessment of US electric end-use energy efficiency potential.” The Electricity Journal 19 (9): 55–69.

B. Granade, Hannah Choi, Jon Creyts, Anton Derkach, and Phillip; Nyquist Farese. 2009. Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy. McKinsey & Company.

C. U.S. Energy Information Administration. 2010. Annual Energy Outlook 2010. Washington DC: U.S. Energy Information Administration, May 11. link

D. National Academy of Sciences. 2010. Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. link

E. Ehrhardt-Martinez, K., K. A. Donnelly, and S. Laitner. 2010. Advanced Metering Initiatives and Residential Feedback Programs: A Meta-Review for Household Electricity-Saving Opportunities. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, June.