Published on March 12th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan2
An Easy $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.