Looking for an investment with a high, secure return on investment? A light energy efficiency retrofit of a typical existing home can deliver a whopping 18.5% return annually, nearly double that of long-term stocks. It’s also a much higher return than that of residential rooftop solar, though they both deliver complementary cuts in carbon emissions that are necessary to address the climate challenge.
An ACEEE analysis released today finds that energy efficiency and solar make complementary energy and carbon reductions in new home construction, but when budgets are tight, efficiency needs to come first. Throughout the United States, energy efficiency is more cost effective. Each month, it delivers $4 to $32 in net savings while rooftop solar alone can cost up to $14.
Many low-income individuals and families are finding it increasingly difficult to rent apartments (see here and here), but energy efficiency and solar energy can help save affordable multifamily housing.
Energy efficiency and solar advocates have on occasion butted heads over which option should be implemented in homes and buildings first and how much should be installed before the other is considered. Here at ACEEE we believe that, like market solutions vs. energy efficiency programs, this is a false choice. Both are valuable and can, and should, work together as an integrated solution to create cleaner and cheaper energy.
There are many tried-and-true tools in the energy efficiency toolbox. Programs in the utility sector that offer customers a variety of rebates, incentives, and technical services totaled more than $7 billion in 2014. In the private market, energy service performance contracts totaled more than $4 billion. And state energy offices loaned more than $74 million in revolving loans.
In October 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Clean Power Plan (CPP) final rule, regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Now that the final rule has been released, policymakers, state governments, utility and power plant owners, and other stakeholders are weighing their options to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) from the power sector for compliance with the rule.
This Energy Efficiency Summer School Will Inspire the Next Generation of EE Researchers and Practitioners
In addition to his work at RASEI, Paul Komar is a lecturer in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder.
As the energy efficiency field grows, the demand for talented and well-trained energy efficiency professionals keeps climbing. Where will these folks come from? Will they have the right skills and knowledge? Will they continue and accelerate the progress we've made in increasing energy efficiency?
EIA Finds That Energy Efficiency Can Reduce the Cost of a Clean Energy Standard and Reduce Emissions
On November 30, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released an Analysis of Impacts of a Clean Energy Standard. The study was requested by Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.