Many states are struggling to recover from a recession, meet budget shortfalls, and lower unemployment rates. At the same time, states must take action to comply with a number of federal air regulations. Proactive states can use energy efficiency to address all of these policy goals with a simple three-step solution:
1. Adopt an Energy Savings Target
2. Capture Wasted Heat from Industry and Put It to Work
3. Make Buildings Better
Federal air regulations require reductions in pollutants that come from power plants and industrial facilities including nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxides (SO2), particulates, mercury, and potentially, greenhouse gases. Rather than addressing all of these requirements piecemeal, states can go straight to the source. Reducing energy waste reduces the amount of fuel burned, simultaneously reducing all of these pollutants.
Energy isn’t free and saving energy saves money. Reduced energy costs provide local industry with a competitive advantage and help businesses to reduce their operating costs, making a state a more attractive place to do business. Energy efficiency measures help create new jobs in the construction sector and other small business sectors. Reduced energy costs save citizens money, too. Just like a tax break, consumers reinvest this money to buy goods and services where they live, stimulating the local economy.
States need to come up with plans to comply with federal air regulations. Why not adopt plans that save money for consumers and business, while stimulating the local economy and helping the state meet budget shortfalls?
ACEEE is working with states to help craft an approach that best meets that state’s needs. This web page is a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to use energy efficiency as a tool to reduce air pollution. On this page we will post analytical tools, fact sheets, and other useful information to support states working to reduce waste and save money. For more information, contact Sara Hayes or Rachel Young.
EEPC is an easy-to-use calculator that lets users get an idea of the costs and air quality benefits of some basic energy efficiency policies and compare those options with more piecemeal approaches to reducing air pollution.