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Published on March 23rd, 2009 | by Jerry James Stone

11

Energy Efficiency Could Save Us $168 Billion



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Energy efficiency initiatives that reduce electricity and gas usage could save consumers and businesses up to $168 billion, says the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report comes on the heels of the Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America: a group of business leaders, industry groups, and environmental advocates calling on Congress to enact a federal energy efficiency target.

“Energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to address our nation’s energy and climate challenges while creating jobs and saving Americans money,” stated Steven Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE. “In these difficult economic times, investment in energy efficiency makes more sense than ever and should be a top priority for our nation’s leaders.”

ACEEE’s report, Laying the Foundation for Implementing a Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, analyzes both 2008 economic and energy data. If a federal energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) were adopted, one that demanded a electricity reduction of 15-percent and a natural gas reduction of 10-percent, 262 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be prevented. That is the equivalent of taking 48 million cars off the road for one year.

Other benefits include 220,000 net permanent jobs and 390 power plants that won’t need to be built.

The Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America supports a federal EERS, included in both House and Senate versions (H.R. 889 and S. 548) of the Save American Energy Act, introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).

“As this coalition shows, the idea of a national energy efficiency standard draws support from a wide range of business and environmental groups in order to save money for consumers, create long-term jobs that cannot be outsourced, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Reid Detchon, Executive Director of the Energy Future Coalition, a nonpartisan public policy initiative that seeks to speed the transition to a new energy economy.

Currently 19 states have adopted individual EERS programs, but the real potential comes from a federal implementation. ACEEE analyzed the benefits of a federal EERS for each state by 2020. For example:

  • Florida will create more than 19,500 new jobs and save $14 billion in energy costs.
  • Illinois will create more than 6,500 new jobs and save $3.6 billion in energy costs.
  • Indiana will create more than 5,000 new jobs and save $3.6 billion in energy costs.
  • North Carolina will create nearly 6,500 new jobs and save $3 billion in energy costs.
  • Tennessee will create more than 5,000 new jobs and save $3.5 billion on energy costs.

Source: aceee.org |  Image: © S-dmit | Dreamstime.com

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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



  • http://www.realliving.com/scott.grasse Scott Grasse

    Before anyone gets bent out of shape, remember all you are reading are headlines. I, too, would like to see just how these figures were determined. I get very excited to read how wonderful the world would be to implement these changes but then get down when nothing happens. Energy production and usage is the #1 concern, in my opinion. There will always be people who stand in the way of change. Very seldom do they do so for the right reasons. If you have the power to research, design, build, implement these technologies then do it, and blow right past those who appose you. Don’t waste your time trying to change the minds of the stubborn/ignorant/greedy.

  • http://www.realliving.com/scott.grasse Scott Grasse

    Before anyone gets bent out of shape, remember all you are reading are headlines. I, too, would like to see just how these figures were determined. I get very excited to read how wonderful the world would be to implement these changes but then get down when nothing happens. Energy production and usage is the #1 concern, in my opinion. There will always be people who stand in the way of change. Very seldom do they do so for the right reasons. If you have the power to research, design, build, implement these technologies then do it, and blow right past those who appose you. Don’t waste your time trying to change the minds of the stubborn/ignorant/greedy.

  • Joseph

    Everybody can do their part, too, by cutting back on energy use at home. One handy device for this is The Energy Detective (www.theenergydetective.com) which allows you to monitor your household energy usage in real-time and subsequently conserve. It’s a great tool for those of us who want to save on electricity but aren’t quite ready to make the switch to solar power.

  • Joseph

    Everybody can do their part, too, by cutting back on energy use at home. One handy device for this is The Energy Detective (www.theenergydetective.com) which allows you to monitor your household energy usage in real-time and subsequently conserve. It’s a great tool for those of us who want to save on electricity but aren’t quite ready to make the switch to solar power.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    The power of sustainability continues to move us in the right direction, but with the current economic crisis at hand the pace is still much slower than hoped for.

    Ideally the concrete beneficial results of such projects will inspire corporations and governments to pursue similar initiatives throughout the recovery process.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    The power of sustainability continues to move us in the right direction, but with the current economic crisis at hand the pace is still much slower than hoped for.

    Ideally the concrete beneficial results of such projects will inspire corporations and governments to pursue similar initiatives throughout the recovery process.

  • russ

    I looked at the ACEEE document on their site – gives me a headache trying to sort through the thing.

    It would be easier to convert people to conservation if straight forward wording and figures were used. As with any report, I assume certain assumptions were made – which normally justify the writers position.

    İ would appreciate something cleaned up, easy to understand and correct.

    EnergyStar is better about this type of thing boiling it down to dollars per year for a single item.

  • russ

    I looked at the ACEEE document on their site – gives me a headache trying to sort through the thing.

    It would be easier to convert people to conservation if straight forward wording and figures were used. As with any report, I assume certain assumptions were made – which normally justify the writers position.

    İ would appreciate something cleaned up, easy to understand and correct.

    EnergyStar is better about this type of thing boiling it down to dollars per year for a single item.

  • Mike G.

    This statistic is meaningless without the proper units attached. Sure it could save over $168 billion, but over what period of time? What is the initial startup cost that will need to be invested prior to seeing savings?

    Also, do the 220,000 jobs gained by this initiative include the jobs lost by not building those 390 power plants?

    This article lacks any concrete evidence.

  • Mike G.

    This statistic is meaningless without the proper units attached. Sure it could save over $168 billion, but over what period of time? What is the initial startup cost that will need to be invested prior to seeing savings?

    Also, do the 220,000 jobs gained by this initiative include the jobs lost by not building those 390 power plants?

    This article lacks any concrete evidence.

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