Energy Efficiency Potential in the U.S. Single-Family Housing Stock

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Typical approaches for assessing energy efficiency potential in buildings use a limited number of prototypes, and therefore suffer from inadequate resolution when pass-fail cost-effectiveness tests are applied, which can significantly underestimate or overestimate the economic potential of energy efficiency technologies. This analysis applies a new approach to large-scale residential energy analysis, combining the use of large public and private data sources, statistical sampling, detailed building simulations, and high-performance computing to achieve unprecedented granularity - and therefore accuracy - in modeling the diversity of the single-family housing stock. The result is a comprehensive set of maps, tables, and figures showing the technical and economic potential of 50 plus residential energy efficiency upgrades and packages for each state. Policymakers, program designers, and manufacturers can use these results to identify upgrades with the highest potential for cost-effective savings in a particular state or region, as well as help identify customer segments for targeted marketing and deployment. The primary finding of this analysis is that there is significant technical and economic potential to save electricity and on-site fuel use in the single-family housing stock. However, the economic potential is very sensitive to the cost-effectiveness criteria used for analysis. Additionally, the savings of particular energy efficiency upgrades is situation-specific within the housing stock (depending on climate, building vintage, heating fuel type, building physical characteristics, etc.).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages157
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This replaces the previous version: NREL/TP-5500-65667 previously titled, "Electric End-Use Energy Efficiency Potential in the U.S. Single-Family Housing Stock".

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-68670


  • building stock
  • buildings
  • economic potential
  • economy
  • end use
  • energy conservation
  • energy consumption
  • energy efficiency
  • energy planning
  • housing
  • modeling
  • policy
  • residential
  • simulation
  • technical potential
  • utilization


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