Machine learning from schools about energy efficiency

Fiona Burlig, Christopher Knittel, David Rapson, Mar Reguant, Catherine Wolfram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We use high-frequency panel data on electricity consumption to study the effectiveness of energy efficiency upgrades in K–12 schools in California. Using a panel fixed effects approach, we find that these upgrades deliver between 12% and 86% of expected savings, depending on specification and treatment of outliers. Using machine learning to inform our specification choice, we estimate a narrower range: 52%–98%, with a central estimate of 60%. These results imply that upgrades are performing less well than ex ante predictions on average, although we can reject some of the very low realization rates found in prior work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1217
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Energy efficiency
  • Machine learning
  • Schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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