Energy End-Use Forecasting
EUF > Publications > Avoiding 'The Big Mistake' in Forecasting Technology Adoption
Avoiding 'The Big Mistake' in Forecasting Technology Adoption

Jonathan G. Koomey

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory,
Published in the Proceedings of the Energex Conference.
Las Vegas, NV. July 2000. (also LBNL-45383)


Many forecasters use models estimated based on historical elasticities and other behavioral parameters to do long-term forecasts. The relationships embodied in these parameters are useful in the short run, but mislead and confound when used to conduct long-run forecasts (because policy choices and events will change those relationships in a fundamental way). This analytical error is widespread in the field of forecasting generally, and is particularly common in forecasting energy supply and demand. This paper gives several examples of this "Big Mistake." In addition, it describes how to defend against it in your own work and recognize it in the work of others.

To order a paper version of this report, Email to and state the report number and title.

This report is also available on-line in .pdf format.

Energy Star energy conservation energy savings energy efficiency environment climate change weatherization solar energy appliances energy audit energy tools efficient buildings energy education heating cooling heat pumps furnaces boilers air conditioners insulation ducts skylights windows thermostats fuel switching mechanical ventilation water heater water heating refrigerator freezer dishwasher clotheswasher clothes dryer miscellaneous energy home energy comfort remodeling residential energy.

TEMA Group Site The Enduse Forecasting Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
 Last Updated On: 8/19/04