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Increased EIA Funding Would Improve Energy Information and Analysis

The FY 2011 budget request for the Department of Energy released today includes $128.8 million for the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an increase of $18.2 million from the current level of funding. The increase would improve EIA's capabilities to respond to the growing need for reliable energy data, analysis, and forecasting.

"Today's budget request for EIA responds to the expressed needs and interests of Congress, Federal agencies, industry, non-governmental organizations, and the broader public who are increasingly focused on energy efficiency metrics, energy market movements, and the impacts of new technologies and fuels," said EIA Administrator Richard Newell. 

EIA is the statistical and analytical agency within the Department of Energy. It collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA is the Nation's premier source of energy information and, by law, its data, analyses, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the U.S. Government.

Highlights of the increase for EIA include:

  • $8.0 million to double the sample size for the 2011 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), providing information critical to understanding energy use and performance measurement for energy efficiency programs.  A larger sample size would allow EIA to provide more detail on building activities for use in energy-efficiency program measurement, and more robust delineation of energy into end-uses such as space heating, ventilation, cooling, refrigeration and lighting.  The larger survey sample would support measurement of programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • $1.3 million to expand analysis of energy market behavior and data to address the interrelationship of energy and financial markets.  With dedicated funding, EIA would more fully implement its Energy and Financial Markets Initiative, launched last September, to improve energy market transparency and enhance understanding of energy price movements (see September 2009 press release ).
  • $1.5 million for efforts to track and analyze the adoption of "Smart Grid" technologies and dynamic electricity pricing plans that are made possible by the deployment of smart electricity meters.  This effort would assist policymakers and stakeholders in determining whether smart grid deployment goals are being met.
  • $3.1 million for improvements in coverage, quality and integration of oil, gas, electricity and other energy data, including development of a unified, EIA-wide internet data collection methodology  for surveys. This would also fund efforts to address discrepancies in gasoline and other product balances exacerbated by the continued movement of fuel production away from refineries to blending terminals.
  • $1.9 million for a multiyear project to replace the components of the National Energy Modeling System to improve EIA's ability to assess and project supply, demand, and technology trends affecting U.S. and world energy markets.  For instance, EIA would complete the development of a new liquid fuels market module, including enhanced treatment of biofuels.  EIA would also evaluate and revise the decision making algorithms in the electric power and end-use sector modules to better represent producer and consumer behavior.

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