Running Randomized Field Experiments for Energy Efficiency Programs: A Practitioner’s Guide

Raina Gandhi, Christopher R. Knittel, Paula Pedro, and Catherine Wolfram

July 2016

Researchers and professional evaluators are increasingly turning to randomized field experiments to evaluate energy efficiency programs and policies. This article provides a brief overview of several experimental methods and discusses their application to energy efficiency programs. We highlight experimental designs, such as randomized encouragement and recruit-and-deny, that are particularly well suited for situations where participation cannot be enforced. The article then discusses several implementation issues that can arise and characterizes applications that are a good fit for a randomized experiment. We also address the most common objections to field experiments, and share the best practices to consider when designing and implementing a field experiment in this space.

For Associates Only

As a benefit to our Associates, the latest Working Papers are embargoed for a period of up to six months before becoming accessible to the public. If you are interested in becoming an Associate or learning more about the benefits of sponsorship, please click here, or email us at

If you are a CEEPR Associate or CEEPR staff member, please visit the login page here: