Major energy efficiency policies slashed US energy use by about 20% in 2017, saving a whopping 25 quads of energy —the amount used in California, Texas, and Florida combined.
More than 600 days into the Trump administration, amid constant reports of regulatory rollbacks, there’s been surprisingly little damage to energy efficiency…yet. But now the administrative winds are starting to blow, rulemakings are under way—with a couple open comment periods—and we are working hard to hold onto the energy savings we have been helping to build.
Tiffany Perrin seals leaky windows and walls. Sonny Gordon makes well-insulated building panels. Marilyn Bryce-Schanhals provides affordable, energy-saving home upgrades.
These are the faces of the growing energy efficiency workforce. In the United States alone, at least 2.25 million people work directly, some or all of their time, on energy-saving products and services. They outnumber all the workers who produce coal, oil, gas, and electricity, including renewables.
National standards that require appliances and equipment to be more energy efficient do more than save energy and reduce utility bills. They also spur economic growth and create jobs — a lot of jobs. In fact, our new report reveals that they created or sustained nearly 300,000 jobs in 2016 and are projected to support 553,000 jobs in 2030. These jobs benefit every US state.
During the holiday season, we are inundated with marketing messages as well as goods and services — hallmarks of our market economy. Popular products include holiday lights, once made only with incandescent bulbs but now mostly with LEDs. This shift to efficient LEDs is an offshoot of a much larger market transformation in lighting, which has saved vast amounts of energy.
It’s not just about money. People invest in home energy upgrades for a variety of reasons, including reconstruction after heavy storms. Our new report explores their motivations and unveils, based partly on a representative survey of nearly 2,000 homeowners, the best strategies for encouraging them to invest in energy efficiency.
In its recent budget outline, the new administration proposes to eliminate funding for the ENERGY STAR® program. An earlier leaked draft suggested that the private sector should take over the program and that a government role is not needed. Others have suggested that ACEEE should run the program. We strongly disagree.
Our existing housing stock is an underutilized energy efficiency resource. We’ve only scratched the surface of its potential to save energy. Decades of research and thousands of retrofits show that even the most basic home retrofits can cut energy use by 15-20% while more comprehensive retrofit projects can double or even triple the energy savings. Residents benefit not only from lower energy bills, but also from improved comfort, better health, and safer, more durable homes. Despite the widely-documented benefits of whole home retrofits, demand for retrofits lags.
I start thinking about my New Year’s resolution earlier than most. I like to think ahead and know what I’m getting into before committing. This year I could go to the gym more, eat fewer hamburgers, or do more traveling. OK, let’s start with just one thing. Maybe I’ll try to travel more. But how do I set the perfect goal for me? Where do I even start?
Thanks to my organization’s work on community energy planning, I know I can use the SMART goal-setting framework to wrap my head around my plans.
What if people could have access to a piece of valuable information that they don’t currently receive about the house they are considering for purchase? What if this could happen with very little bureaucracy and limited program implementation costs? Sound appealing?