Washington, D.C. — The energy and consumer cost savings from the energy bill to be voted on today by the House of Representatives would triple the savings from Congress' 2005 energy bill, and would save more than five times as much as the Energy Policy Act of 1992, according to a preliminary analysis released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The House bill would reduce 2030 U.S. energy use by almost 8% and U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 10%, relative to the current Department of Energy forecast. ACEEE estimates that this legislation would save consumers more than $450 billion dollars through 2030.* The Senate is expected to vote on the bill in the next few days.
"By tripling the dollars, consumers will save and the carbon emissions that drive global warming will be reduced. This bill is a major win for consumers and the environment," stated Executive Director Steven Nadel.
More than half the energy savings in the bill come from the biggest increase in vehicle fuel economy standards since the 1970s plus initiation of a program to develop fuel economy standards for medium and heavy trucks. "This is a big step toward getting a handle on the oil consumption of highway vehicles and putting the auto sector back in gear to meet coming global challenges," said Transportation Program Director Therese Langer.
The bill also includes major savings from new efficiency standards for lamps, appliances, and other products (accounting for about 20% of the 2030 savings); extensions and enhancements of tax incentives enacted in the 2005 energy bill; a new commercial building program designed to dramatically reduce commercial sector energy use over several decades (about 8% of the savings); a new tax incentive for combined heat and power (CHP) and recycled energy; and a Renewable Electricity Standard that includes energy efficiency.
Earlier this week, ACEEE issued an analysis of the Renewable Electricity Standard provisions, showing that this key policy would reduce electricity prices while cutting carbon emissions and saving billions of dollars for consumers. This analysis runs counter to the claims expressed in some lobbying campaigns that the bill would raise energy prices and hurt the economy.
"This legislation triples consumer savings by blending the best features of this year's House and Senate bills," noted Deputy Director Bill Prindle. "They took the Senate fuel economy provisions, the House tax incentives and Renewable Electricity Standard, and equipment efficiency standards from both bills in order to produce a very strong bill," he continued. According to ACEEE, the only important efficiency provision that was dropped was a national building code requirement calling for 30% energy savings in new homes and buildings by 2010 and 50% by 2020.
According to ACEEE, while passage is likely in the House, votes in the Senate are likely to be close since the bill will need support from 60 out of 100 Senators in order to defeat a likely filibuster from bill opponents. "We hope that Congress will heed objective analysis, not overblown rhetoric, and pass this bill for the good of consumers, businesses, and the environment," concluded ACEEE's Nadel.
Details on ACEEE's analysis can be found at http://www.aceee.org/sector/national-policynational/nrgleg.htm. This is a preliminary analysis. Relative to earlier ACEEE analyses, some of the savings estimates were modified based on changes in the bill and use of newly available data and estimates.
* Net consumer savings are preliminary estimates and assume Department of Energy forecasted energy prices, which conservatively estimate $46 per barrel of oil in 2020.