EFI’s 2018 eCommerce Marketplace Program Impacts

By: Phil Scarbro
I

In 2018, EFI received orders for 5.6 million energy efficiency-related products through our eCommerce platform. The savings associated with the products we offer varies based on hours of use, the type of structure, the climate, the geographical location, and the fuel (in the case of electricity this includes coal, natural gas, oil, wind, hydro, and solar). For this analysis we are drawing on analysis that has already been documented through the eighteen regional Technical Resource Manuals used by regulators to estimate program impacts[1].

Of the 5.6 million products purchased during 2018, the breakdown by product category was as follows:

  • Specialty Light Bulbs: 2,507,073 (44%)
  • General Use Light Bulbs: 1,586,944 (28%)
  • Water-Related Devices: 1,188,961 (21%)
  • Controls: 204,841 (3%)
  • Thermostats: 153,211 (3%)
  • Light Fixtures: 64,170 (1%)
  • Appliances & Fans: 343 (<1%)

These products, if all were installed, would have the potential to reduce 308 million kilowatt hours of electricity use. This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 28,000 homes[2].

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Lowering people’s energy use also lowers their energy bills. The average electricity rate across in the United States ranges from a low of 8 cents per kWh in Louisiana to a high of 26 cents per kWh in Hawaii, with the U.S. average being about 10.5 cents per kWh[3]. The products ordered through EFI’s eCommerce marketplace platform have the potential to deliver $32.3 million dollars of annual savings to U.S. consumers and businesses. The economic savings resulting from EFI's eCommerce marketplaces is equivalent to the annual household incomes of 547 families[4].

The reduction in energy consumption will also result in a corresponding reduction of the annual increase of carbon dioxide emissions associated with electricity generation. In 2017 worldwide emissions totaled 36.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide[5], which was 1.6 percent higher than the emissions during 2016, with 2018 data expected to reflect a further global increase of 2.7 percent to 37.1 gigatons[6].

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Through reductions in energy use, the products ordered through EFI’s Commerce platform during 2018 have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 307 million pounds each year (139,680 metric tons). This is obviously small relative to the scale of global emissions, but still particularly important because for each unit of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere today 40 percent of that carbon dioxide will still be present in the atmosphere 100 years from now, and 20 percent will still be present in 1,000 years[7]. The accumulative nature of carbon dioxide exacerbates its long-term impact on global warming and, therefore, climate change. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions through the energy efficiency programs that EFI runs today will have positive benefits for generations.


[1] based on the following TRMs; Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Mid-Atlantic, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

[2] Assuming 10,766 kWh annual electricity use per home, https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=97&t=3

[3] Energy Information Agency 2017 estimate of $0.1048/kWh retail price of electricity across all sectors.

[4] Average median income of $59,000; https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2017/income-povery.html

[5] 1 gigaton is equal to 1 billion metric tons

[6] https://www.wri.org/blog/2018/12/new-global-co2-emissions-numbers-are-they-re-not-good

[7] Union of Concerned Scientists, https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/science/CO2-and-global-warming-faq.html#.W3x1ky3Mx25