Determinants and Evaluation of Local Energy-Efficiency Initiatives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Review of Policy Research

Research Center

Energy Policy Center


This article examines variation in local-level energy-efficiency grants and corresponding initiatives from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) in the United States. The analysis is based upon a hurdle model of counts of energy-efficiency grants received by 348 local governments that received these grants from 2009 to 2013, as well as 348 matched local governments that did not receive such funds. City-level characteristics including amount of federal financial support, per capita income, signaling of preferences for sustainability policies, manufacturing, and political influences are shown to be empirically important determinants of variation in local energy-efficiency initiatives. The evidence suggests that all else held equal, the $21.8 billion in ARRA funds expended with the intent of increasing local energy-efficiency programs and policies successfully led to this end.