ACEEE Submits Comments on Federal Clean Energy Standard

May 17, 2012

Energy Efficiency Needs to Be Included in Order to Reduce Consumer Costs and Increase Emissions Reductions

Washington, D.C.—A national clean energy standard (CES) should include energy efficiency, noted ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel in comments submitted for the record in conjunction with a Senate Energy Committee hearing held today on a CES bill authored by Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman.

Under the bill as proposed, clean electricity sources must account for a steadily increasing share of U.S. electricity use but energy efficiency is not included in the list of clean energy resources. Nadel described how analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicates that including energy efficiency in the CES will reduce costs to consumers relative to the proposed CES by reducing electricity prices and electricity use. In addition, reduced electricity demand will reduce the amount of natural gas burned to generate electricity, reducing natural gas prices relative to those under the CES. According to the EIA analysis, energy efficiency savings will also reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, mercury, and carbon dioxide.

Nadel also provided information on 33 states that are already making significant commitments to energy efficiency, putting them in a good position to expand their programs in response to a CES. In addition, he provided data on how energy efficiency is more labor-intensive than other energy resources; therefore, increased use of energy efficiency under a CES will increase employment. Nadel concluded: “Energy efficiency is our cheapest and cleanest energy resource. In order to reduce the cost of the CES and further reduce electric sector emissions, energy efficiency should be included in the CES.”

To read the comments, visit  /regulatory-filing/s2146

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.