years. Survey design is a careful balance between survey errors and costs. The precision of the survey statistics is highly dependent on the resources that are invested into the collection and production of the data. For a given budget, survey design options can be evaluated to identify the option that leads to the smallest total survey error (Groves and Lyberg, 2010). Although the panel was not asked to base its recommendations on specific assumptions about the budget, its deliberations were centered around the need to be cost effective and achieve an optimal balance between data quality and costs. The last chapter of the report takes a slightly different perspective, revisiting some of the ideal program characteristics highlighted above and discussing some ideas that may be less feasible in the short term but which may help EIA envision the energy consumption data collections of the future.
The report discusses some overarching, transformational recommendations that, if implemented, would represent major changes in the designs of the surveys. Other recommendations are more technical and incremental in nature, and are focused on smaller-scale revisions that could improve and update the surveys. The two surveys will be discussed separately, which results in some duplication in the text and overlap in the recommendations.