Buildings energy efficiency standards savings $1.1 trillion

Published on March 12th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


An Easy $1.1 Trillion

March 12th, 2012 by  

energy efficiency standards savings $1.1 trillion

Energy efficiency, as we should all know by now, is a clear economic and environmental win. But the savings possible from stronger energy efficiency regulations are still pretty staggering to look at.

“National efficiency standards for appliances, lighting, and other equipment will save consumers and businesses more than $1.1 trillion and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas pollution and other emissions by 2035,” the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) noted last week. These findings come from it and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project’s newest study, The Efficiency Boom: Cashing In on the Savings from Appliance Standards.

An average U.S. consumer will save a cool $10,000 between 2010 and 2035 simply by buying appliances with minimum (required) efficiency standards. Its electricity bill will be about 33% less than it would be otherwise.

But hold on, that’s not even all that’s possible!

“Even greater savings could be achieved. Updates to existing standards and new standards for other products that can be completed between now and 2015 could net consumers and businesses another $170 billion and reduce pollution even further.”

To summarize: existing standards will save the U.S. 200 quads of energy by 2035 (or $1.1 trillion); new standards could save another 42 quads of savings (or $170 billion). (Note: “A ‘quad’ is a measure of energy—the U.S. economy uses a total of about 100 quads per year.”)

And, putting it in yet different terms again: “existing standards reduced U.S. electricity use by 7 percent in 2010. Annual electricity savings from existing standards will increase to 14 percent by 2035 as consumers and businesses purchase new products compliant with the latest standards. New and updated standards that can be completed by 2015 would reduce 2035 electricity use by another 7 percent.”

Currently, about 55% of U.S. products have energy efficiency standards.

The payback period for most energy-efficient appliances is now 3 years, and the benefit to cost ration is approximately 4:1.

Source: ACEEE | Cash courtesy shutterstock 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media:, .

  • Dcard88

    So funny to hear all the people complaining about the lighting regs when 100% of business accountants, wether or not they know anything about LED’s would recommend replacing ALL incandescents used for more than 10 minutes a day to be replaced by LED’s that cost 100 times as much because they pay for themselves before they are past 20 to 50% of lifespan and then continure to save energy for years. Its not rocket science. 10hours x 300 days x 60watts (saved) = $20 / year savings
    They last for 15 to 20 years.
    Home use 5 x 350 x 60 = $15 savings per year. Either way they pay for themselves in less than 2 years and rarely have to be replaced.
    In 2 years the price will be $20 and the payoff will be 12 to 15 months

    • I know, the fact that the “light bulb wars” has popped up makes large portions of our population look pretty idiotic

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