Estimating the Public Health Benefits of
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
with EPA's Benefits per kWh Values
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BENEFITS
per kilowatt hour
EPA has developed a set of values that help state arid local government policymakers and other
stakeholders estimate the monetized public health benefits of investments in energy efficiency and
renewable energy (EE/RE) using methods consistent with those EPA uses for health benefits analyses at
the federal level.1 It's important to note that EPA is continually reviewing methods and assumptions for
quantifying public health benefits. The values presented here and the associated documentation will be
updated as appropriate to reflect any future changes in methods or assumptions.
When to use benefits-per-kWh screening values?
Benefits per kilowatt-hour (BPK) values are reasonable approximations of the health benefits of state
EE/RE investments that can be used for preliminary analysis when comparing across state and local
policy scenarios to indicate direction and relative
magnitude.
Examples of analyses where it would be appropriate to use
them include:
•	Estimating the public health benefits of regional, state,
or local-level investments in EE/RE projects, programs,
and policies
•	Understanding the cost-effectiveness of regional, state,
or local-level EE projects, programs, and measures
•	Incorporating health benefits in short-term regional,
state, or local policy analyses and decision-making
When not to use benefits-per-kWh values?
BPK values are not a substitute for sophisticated analysis
and should not be used to justify or inform federal
regulatory decisions. They are based on data inputs,
assumptions, and methods that approximate the dynamics of energy, environment, and health
interactions and include uncertainties and limitations, as documented in the technical report.
Audience for BPK screening values
Stakeholders interested in approximating
the outdoor air quality-related public health
benefits from EE/RE, including:
•	State and local energy, air quality, or
public health agencies
•	Public utility commissions
•	Energy efficiency and renewable
energy project developers
•	Industry organization
•	Nongovernmental organizations
•	Other researchers
1 For more information about the methods and assumptions used, see EPA's technical report, Public Health Benefits per kWh of
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the United States, 2018: https://www.epa.gov/statelocalenergy/public-health-
benefits-kwh-energy-efficiency-and-renewable-energy-united-states.
State and Local
Energy and Environment Program

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Benefits-per-kWh screening values
EPA used a peer reviewed methodology and tools to develop a set of screening-level regional estimates
of the dollar benefits per kilowatt-hour from four different types of EE/RE initiatives.
•	Uniform Energy Efficiency - Energy efficiency programs, projects, and measures that achieve a
constant level of savings over time,
•	Peak Energy Efficiency - Energy efficiency programs, projects, and measures that achieve savings
during 12pm-6pm when energy demand is high (i.e. peak),
•	Solar Energy - Programs, projects, and measures that increase the supply of solar energy available
(e.g. utility-scale and rooftop solar generation), and
•	Wind Energy - Programs, projects, and measures that increase the supply of wind available (e.g.
wind turbines installed).
Understanding the Values
EPA created BPK values using existing tools, including EPA's AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT)
and CO-Benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) Health Impacts Screening and Mapping Tool. BPK values are:
•	Available for each of the four project
types for each of the ten AVERT
regions shown in the map below
•	Based on 2017 electricity generation
data and emissions, population,
baseline mortality incidence rate, and
income growth projections
•	Presented in 2017 dollars and
reflecting the use of either a 3% or a
7% discount rate as recommended by
EPA's Guidelines for Preparing
Economic Analyses (2010)
•	Calculated using the same health
impact functions EPA uses for
regulatory impact analyses, including
the calculation of low estimates of
mortality using health impact functions that assume people are not very sensitive to changes in PM2.5
levels and high estimates of mortality using functions that assume people are more sensitive to
changes in PM2.5
How to use BPK values?
States and communities interested in screening-level estimates of outdoor air quality-related health
impacts of energy efficiency or renewable energy can multiply the BPK values by the number of kWh
saved from EE or generated from RE to estimate potential health benefits from projects in dollars saved.
Users should note that EPA suggests that the values not be used to determine health benefits more than
five years prior to or after 2017.
On the next page, we provide two examples of how to use the BPK values to estimate the benefits of a
specific EE/RE project or policy.
For more information: See the technical documentation online or contact Emma Zinsmeister at
zinsmeister.emma@epa.gov
CaMofrm
(RM l0**'
(SC)
(HE)
Southeast
ISC)
Regions for Benefits-per-kWh Values
epa.gov/statelocalenergy

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Example: Benefits of Installing 10-MW of Solar Energy in North Carolina
To estimate the health benefits of 10-megawatt (MW) solar installation in North Carolina, you would use
the BPK values for the Southeast and multiply them by the amount of electricity the project will generate.
If you don't have project-level information about the amount electricity the project will generate, you can
use a tool such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) PVWATTs Calculator, which
estimates that a 10-MW solar project in North Carolina would generate approximately 13.9 million kWh
per year. The estimated monetized health benefits of the project are calculated as shown below:
Type of BPK Value
BPK Value for the
Southeast Region
(
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2017 Benefits-per-kWh Values (cents per kWh, 2017 USD)2

Project
Type
3% Discount Rate
7% Discount Rate
Region
2017 <£/kWh
(low estimate)
2017 <£/kWh
(high estimate)
2017 <£/kWh
(low estimate)
2017 <£/kWh
(high estimate)

Uniform EE
0.48
1.08
0.42
0.96
California
EE at Peak
0.52
1.17
0.46
1.04
Solar
0.51
1.15
0.45
1.03

Wind
0.48
1.09
0.43
0.97

Uniform EE
3.51
7.95
3.14
7.09
Great Lakes/Mid-
EE at Peak
3.57
8.08
3.19
7.21
Atlantic
Solar
3.67
8.29
3.27
7.39

Wind
3.35
7.59
2.99
6.77

Uniform EE
2.31
5.23
2.06
4.66
Lower Midwest
EE at Peak
2.11
4.77
1.88
4.25
Solar
2.19
4.96
1.96
4.42

Wind
2.35
5.32
2.10
4.74

Uniform EE
1.65
3.73
1.47
3.33
Northeast
EE at Peak
2.24
5.07
2.00
4.52
Solar
1.94
4.38
1.73
3.91

Wind
1.58
3.56
1.41
3.18

Uniform EE
1.13
2.55
1.01
2.28
Pacific Northwest
EE at Peak
1.12
2.54
1.00
2.27
Solar
1.17
2.64
1.04
2.35

Wind
1.13
2.55
1.01
2.27

Uniform EE
1.03
2.32
0.92
2.07
Rocky Mountains
EE at Peak
0.98
2.21
0.87
1.98
Solar
0.99
2.25
0.89
2.01

Wind
1.07
2.41
0.95
2.15

Uniform EE
1.78
4.02
1.58
3.58
Southeast
EE at Peak
1.87
4.24
1.67
3.78
Solar
1.83
4.15
1.64
3.70

Wind
1.76
3.98
1.57
3.55

Uniform EE
0.71
1.62
0.64
1.44
Southwest
EE at Peak
0.70
1.59
0.63
1.42
Solar
0.73
1.64
0.65
1.46

Wind
0.77
1.73
0.68
1.54

Uniform EE
1.58
3.58
1.41
3.19
Texas
EE at Peak
1.39
3.13
1.24
2.80
Solar
1.42
3.22
1.27
2.87

Wind
1.63
3.69
1.45
3.29

Uniform EE
3.12
7.06
2.78
6.30
Upper Midwest
EE at Peak
2.75
6.22
2.45
5.55
Solar
2.89
6.53
2.58
5.83

Wind
3.20
7.23
2.85
6.45
2 In addition to using these regional values, users can also use EPA's AVERT and COBRA tools to develop more specific analyses,
such as state- or county-level health benefits estimates. For more information on other more sophisticated options for
modeling health benefits for or how to quantify the electricity impacts of energy efficiency and renewable energy, see the EPA
report, Quantifying the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: A Guide for State and Local Governments.
epa.gov/statelocalenergy

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