The role of energy efficiency resource acquisition in China’s future

June 27, 2013
Energy efficiency resource acquisition programs could play an important role in China’s future, a new IIP-commissioned summary report shows.

The summary report, Energy Efficiency Resource Acquisition Programs, reviews the benefits of the innovative North American program model and shows how it can be adapted for use in China. 

Energy efficiency resource acquisition programs have already shown much success in North America. They work by acquiring energy savings from industrial, commercial and residential energy users through energy utilities or third-party organizations as directed by state or provincial public utility commissions. Up to 30 US states and Canadian provinces now operate some type of energy efficiency resource acquisition program, with expenditure reaching more US$7 billion by 2011.

The author of the summary report, Robert Taylor, says many of the principles and elements of these programs may be useful in China’s ongoing aggressive efforts to promote energy efficiency – provided they are adapted adequately for the market. 

“Energy efficiency resource acquisition may have a productive role in China’s future as a new type of energy efficiency project promotion and support model. Design concepts and implementation experiences are relevant to China’s Top 10,000 Enterprise Program, energy-saving investment award system, demand-side management (DSM) pilot city efforts, and the possible development of a carbon cap-and-trade system. However, the North American concepts and practices would require major adjustments to blend effectively into the prevailing, well-developed energy efficiency promotion and delivery systems in China,” he says.

The report presents ideas on how resource acquisition programs could be adapted in China, including by developing pilot programs with the government providing initial funding, developing provincial-based energy efficiency resource acquisition programs that support existing key energy-saving agreements in the 12th Five-Year Plan and beyond, and coordinating resource acquisition programs with China’s energy efficiency investment award system.

This thinkpiece is a summary of the original report, Energy Efficiency Resource Acquisition Program Models in North America (2012), which was written jointly by Robert Taylor, Energy Pathways LLC; Julia Reinaud, Institute for Industrial Productivity; and Dan Trombley, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. It is unique, however, as it contains new information and ideas on the programs’ applicability to China. The summary report is also available in Chinese.

For more information about government policies in China, and other countries, please see our policy resource database: www.iepd.iipnetwork.org