Governments face pressures to improve national energy efficiency that are comparable to those caused by the energy crises of the 1970s. In UK industry a public programme of research, development and demonstration (RD&D) emanated from the crises and persisted until the end of the 1980s. The main element of this strategy was a full-scale commercial demonstration scheme: the Energy Efficiency Demonstration Scheme (EEDS). This work presents a bottom-up/top-down data analysis to examine the influence of the scheme on the overall energy demand trend of the UK industrial sector as separated from structural and output effects. It was concluded that earlier deployment of efficiency technologies as a result of their demonstration under the scheme may have provided a quarter of the observed energy demand reduction over the period 1979–1989. However, it should be noted that it is inherently difficult to accurately determine the extent to which earlier technology investments occur as a result of supported demonstration. The scheme’s mechanism and replacement was also discussed in order to derive lessons. Policy and economic implications for the UK were examined.