Archive

March 2016

Blog | March 29, 2016

US electricity use is no longer growing

For many years, electricity use in the United States increased steadily, in lock-step with growth in the economy as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But since 2010, electricity consumption has been essentially flat, even as GDP has risen steadily. The earlier trend and the divergence are shown in the graph below. New figures just released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that electricity use in 2015 was nearly identical to use in 2010, even as the economy grew 11%.

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Blog | March 25, 2016

For low-cost savings that benefit ratepayers and the planet alike, utilities embrace efficiency

Much like the proverbial ‘juice’ by which it’s often referred, electricity can go a long way for those who make a habit of squeezing every last drop of what they have. When everyone adopts this mindset, we all win, freeing up resources to dedicate to other critical needs. That’s the commonsense approach the utility sector has increasingly recognized and embraced over the years, harnessing efficiency to avoid or defer costs such as developing new energy supplies, building transmission infrastructure, and complying with environmental rules.

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Blog | March 24, 2016

Looking for small business energy efficiency program data, designs, strategies, and more

There are over 25 million small enterprises that form the backbone of our national economy. They are critical to the health of local economies, generating well over half of net new private-sector jobs, according to the US Small Business Administration. Many are home-based firms with few employees, but many also occupy commercial retail space. The small business sector uses over 30% of all commercial space, more than 20 billion square feet of buildings to be heated, cooled, and lit up.

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Blog | March 18, 2016

New studies are showing what we already know: energy efficiency keeps electricity affordable and reduces environmental compliances costs

Multiple studies looking at spending and savings across programs, over time and in multiple states, all show the same thing: energy efficiency is highly cost effective. Put another way, it keeps electricity affordable by meeting demand and environmental regulations at a lower cost than if we generated new power, including from clean energy resources.

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Blog | March 18, 2016

New Behavior Program manager, looking for data

You know the facial expression of a person who got confused on the way to being excited? That is the typical the response I get when I tell people my areas of research. I am an environmental psychologist. Before you ask… No, I do not perform psychotherapy on bunnies and I’m afraid I can’t tell you how trees feel before being cut down (although I imagine it’s the type of thing that would get your sap pumping). In fact, I have spent the better part of a decade (in British Columbia, Canada) researching the psychology of human behavior, as it relates to environmental problems.

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Blog | March 18, 2016

Electricity savings from coast to coast

We tend to talk about energy savings in two ways. There is the total annual impact of savings, made up of layers of savings from programs implemented in the past but still saving energy today, and there are incremental savings, or savings attributed to new programs implemented in a given year. At ACEEE, we track incremental savings within our State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

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Blog | March 17, 2016

Introducing an ACEEE webinar series on energy efficiency and the Clean Power Plan

Energy efficiency is a proven and cost-effective strategy to reduce pollution and can help states comply with environmental regulations, including EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Even with the Supreme Court stay of the rule, there are many reasons to move forward with energy efficiency.

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Blog | March 16, 2016

Sharing the human face of energy efficiency

As energy efficiency geeks, we here at ACEEE are deep into the numbers, publishing report after report on the quads and TWh and MMT CO2 savings from efficiency. We know these numbers and units represent major benefits for the nation, but sometimes we find it hard to explain—to policymakers, advocates outside of the energy world, and even our own families—what they mean for individual American families. We’re trying to change that.

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Blog | March 11, 2016

How much is a trillion anyway?

With cumulative dollar savings from products sold through 2035 estimated at over one trillion, appliance, equipment, and lighting efficiency standards are making a huge impact nationally. The savings are of such a magnitude that most of us can barely grasp how large they are.

A trillion dollars is a LOT of money.

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Blog | March 4, 2016

The long road to today's CAFE standards

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks, first adopted in 1975 in the wake of the OPEC oil embargo, resulted in a doubling of average new vehicle fuel economy a decade later. Following that period of rapid advance were two decades of stagnant fuel economy standards.

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