Quantcast

Report Shows How Energy Efficiency Can Cut Energy Usage in Half by 2030

Energy

Environmental Defense Fund

By Elgie Holstein

The Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy released a report today with recommendations that would put the U.S. on a path towards doubling its energy productivity by 2030. The commission, which is chaired by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and National Grid U.S. President Tom King, is a diverse coalition of energy leaders that includes representatives from energy utilities, academia, industry and environmental groups. Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), serves on the commission.

The commission found that a doubling of energy productivity (or obtaining twice as much output from the energy we use) would reduce U.S. carbon dioxide pollution down to four billion tons per year by 2030, which is 33 percent below 2005 levels.

“The Alliance Commission’s recommendations are an innovative approach to greatly increasing our nation’s use of energy efficiency, which represents a huge–and largely untapped–opportunity,” said Fred Krupp, president of EDF. “Reducing wasted energy through efficiency is a true win-win solution that cuts harmful pollution and saves people money on their energy bills.”

The commission’s recommendations are wide-ranging, covering multiple sectors of the economy. The recommendations include: increased stringency of energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances, creation of financing mechanisms that bring down the cost of energy efficiency projects, reform of utility regulatory policies to enable full use of cost-effective energy efficiency and greater support for research and development.

Achieving the commission’s goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030 would:

  • Add 1.3 million jobs
  • Cut average household energy costs by more than $1,000 a year
  • Save American businesses $169 billion a year
  • Increase gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 2 percent
  • Decrease energy imports by more than $100 billion a year
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by one-third

EDF is particularly encouraged by the commission’s recommendations related to energy efficiency finance and smart grid policies, which are a high priority for EDF. The commission recommends that state and local governments work with utilities to create financing mechanisms, such as On-Bill Repayment (OBR) programs. OBR provides a new route to funding clean energy investments at attractive terms, relying solely on private third-party financing.

OBR programs offer an opportunity for residential and commercial utility customers to finance energy efficiency projects with loans repaid through their utility bills and financed at no additional cost to ratepayers. The Commission also recommends reforms to state utility regulatory policies that would break down barriers to utility investment in energy efficiency and enable greater use of advanced new technologies that create a smarter and cleaner electric power grid.

Though the U.S. currently lags behind other nations on energy productivity, the Commission believes there are more than $1 trillion in energy-saving opportunities with the right federal, state and local government support, and private-sector buy-in.

The Alliance Commission’s goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030 is ambitious, yet attainable, and it goes well beyond capturing the well-known, low-hanging fruit. I am confident that the solutions proposed by the commission will drive innovation and technological advancements, which will modernize U.S. manufacturing and help us to compete globally.

Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

FDA

Food manufacturer General Mills issued a voluntary recall of more than 600,000 pounds, or about 120,000 bags, of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour this week after a sample tested positive for a bacteria strain known to cause illness.

Read More Show Less
Imelda flooded highway 69 North in Houston Thursday. Thomas B. Shea / Getty Images

Two have died and at least 1,000 had to be rescued as Tropical Storm Imelda brought extreme flooding to the Houston area Thursday, only two years after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Aerial assessment of Hurricane Sandy damage in Connecticut. Dannel Malloy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.

Read More Show Less
Giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, California. lucky-photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
This aerial view shows the Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, one of the venues for 2019 Rugby World Cup. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Vera_Petrunina / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Wudan Yan

In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."

Read More Show Less
Volunteer caucasian woman giving grain to starving African children. Bartosz Hadyniak / E+ / Getty Images

By Frances Moore Lappé

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious," CNN warns us in its coverage of the UN's new "Climate Change and Land" report. The New York Times announces that "Climate Change Threatens the World's Food Supply."

Read More Show Less
British Airways 757. Jon Osborne / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Adam Vaughan

Two-thirds of people in the UK think the amount people fly should be reined in to tackle climate change, polling has found.

Read More Show Less