An EERS is a mandatory energy-savings target established for electric and gas distribution utilities. Such policies have been adopted in 18 states and more are pending. (Refer to our summary.) Rep. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) introducted a bill in early February to establish a federal requirement that electric utilities achieve savings equal to 15% of their electricity sales by 2020, with a 10% by 2020 savings target for gas utilities.
ACEEE estimates that this provision will, by 2020, reduce peak electric demand by about 90,000 megawatts — equivalent to 300 power plants that each have a 300 megawatts capacity. Carbon dioxide emissions reductions would total approximately 260 million metric tons in 2020 — equivalent to taking 43 million automobiles off the road (for a year), and 260,000 net jobs would be created. Furthermore, utility customers would save a net $144 billion, with the proposed EERS producing a benefit-to-cost ratio of about 3:1. Several Senators are working on a similar bill which will be introduced soon. The 15% electricity savings goal was part of President Obama's campaign platform. ACEEE is helping to organize a broad coalition of businesses, utilities, states, environmental and consumer groups in support of a federal EERS. Review a copy of Rep. Markey's bill, a fact sheet on the proposed federal EERS, and other EERS information.