Recognizing Energy Efficiency and Demand Flexibility Air Quality and Climate Benefits

Energy efficiency (EE) and demand flexibility (including demand response and load management) programs—state, local, and voluntary as well as utility initiatives—deliver multiple benefits to states, communities, companies, and households. Cost savings, enhanced energy reliability and security, and improved building quality and performance are among these benefits. And there are environmental benefits too, including reduced pollutant emissions that can help states achieve air quality and climate goals.  

Various tools and resources have been developed (see below) to help State Energy Offices, air quality regulators, local officials, and others to utilize energy efficiency, demand flexibility, and cleaner energy resources to reduce greenhouse gas and Clean Air Act-regulated emissions.

Among these resources, NASEO created, with U.S. Department of Energy support, Energy Efficiency Pathway Templates to help State Energy Offices engage state air quality regulators and others on opportunities for EE programs to help states attain air quality management objectives, such as meeting National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), Regional Haze Rule requirements, and greenhouse gas targets. Completed templates summarize key facts and features of EE programs and policies, including goals, authorities, funding, and implementation. They discuss issues of quantifying energy savings and avoided emissions that can be useful to air quality managers for planning, projections, and regulatory crediting.

NASEO has a long history of working to recognize air quality benefits of energy efficiency, including through the “3Ns” series of dialogues with the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). NASEO continues its cooperation with these and other associations and stakeholders on these topics.

NASEO is available to help State Energy Offices with these templates and, more broadly, to work with their state air quality colleagues on energy-air quality topics. If you have questions, comments, or need assistance in this area, please contact NASEO Senior Fellow, Rodney Sobin ( or 703.299.8800).


EPA State Energy and Environment Guide to Action offers real-world best practices to help states design and implement policies that reduce emissions associated with electricity generation and energy consumption. The Guide is a comprehensive EPA resource designed to help state officials draw insights from other states' implementation experiences and policy innovations to help meet their own state's climate, environment, energy, and equity goals.

EPA Energy Savings and Impacts Scenario Tool (ESIST) added to Tools