Last night during his State of the Union address President Obama embraced a variety of policy proposals including several addressing energy efficiency. Most importantly for energy efficiency, the President issued “a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years.” By supporting energy efficiency, the President has made a smart investment that will pay off immediately and down the line for future generations. There’s a good reason why energy efficiency has broad support among business and legislators across the aisle, it’s one of the great cost saving success stories for the nation in the last three decades and still has large untapped potential.
To help achieve this goal the President noted that “states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.” In supplementary material, the White House discusses “race to the top” awards in which states compete “to implement effective policies to increase energy efficiency and help reduce waste.” At ACEEE, we released a study; last year showing that such a goal is achievable and what it might require. The President also discussed tax reform in his speech. We urge the President and Congress to include several tax reforms we’ve suggested as a vehicle for increasing the nation’s energy efficiency; not only do they save money and create jobs, but they also pay for themselves.
The inspiring goal President Obama has set clearly indicates that he understands the importance of energy efficiency, and that he is committed to pursuing both administrative and legislative steps to tap this essential resource that will save the nation billions, create domestic jobs and reduce harmful pollution. We applaud Obama’s initiative and look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to achieve the President’s goal.