Energizing the Energy Policy Process: The Impact of Evaluation

By Roberta W. Walsh; John G. Heilman | Go to book overview

2
The Use of Financial Incentives to Promote Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Costs and Benefits 1

Barbara C. Farhar, Rebecca Vories, and Catriona C. MacKirnan

Editors' Note: The authors address a rapidly changing and dynamic field: the use of incentives as policy instruments for increasing the energy efficiency of buildings. Some important issues -- such as "free drivers" -- have emerged since 1991, when the chapter was originally written. This chapter is thus intended less to document all the most recent issues and views than it is to provide an overview of the breadth and variety of evaluation in just one corner of energy policy and programs. In doing so, it illuminates an implicit but important role that evaluation is playing: documenting and clarifying what happens as public policy choices turn to instruments often identified with the private sector. Reliance on incentives is often regarded as a central feature of market processes. While the many programs reviewed here do not all involve full-blown privatization, they do represent "boundary blurring" and "balance shifting" between public and private sectors in policy design and implementation. The role of evaluation here is thus to help chart and inform a major contemporary transition in the institutional arrangements that carry the policy process. At the time the authors wrote this chapter, their business affiliation was with the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI). In September 1991, President George Bush gave the name National Renewable Energy Laboratory to what had been SERI

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