Energy efficiency gap refers to the improvement potential of energy efficiency or the difference between the cost-minimizing level of energy efficiency and the level of energy efficiency actually realized. It has attracted considerable attention among energy policy analysts, because its existence suggests that society has forgone cost-effective investments in energy efficiency, even though they could significantly reduce energy consumption at low cost. This term was first "coined" by Eric Hirst and Marilyn Brown in a paper entitled "Closing the Efficiency Gap: Barriers to the Efficient Use of Energy" in 1990.
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