Economic Recession & Recovery
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the resurgence of manufacturing in America. Whether you call it reshoring, backshoring, or insourcing, manufacturing companies have been bringing product manufacturing back to the U.S. from overseas, when just a few years ago it was taken for granted that U.S. manufacturing was in an inexorable decline.
The impact of investments in energy efficiency extends well beyond reducing energy costs or addressing the environmental impacts of energy extraction and use. These investments provide jobs for American workers and help them to support their families and communities.
“Tax reform” is becoming one of the key catchphrases this election season. With support from both Democrats and Republicans, actual work on legislation is likely to take place in 2013. Key elements of reform are likely to include simplifying the tax code and reducing marginal tax rates by eliminating many credits and deductions.
Today a new book by David Owen was released entitled The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse. This book expands upon an earlier article Owen wrote in The New Yorker that ACEEE criticized.
ACEEE is preparing a series of working papers on how energy efficiency issues might be addressed as part of tax reform. We call them working papers because we are soliciting feedback and comments on these drafts so that our analyses and proposals can be refined. We plan to release final versions of these papers as part of a larger report later this year. We also welcome feedback on additional tax-related topics touching energy efficiency that might be useful to address.
Looking forward into 2012, I see more reasons for optimism than pessimism. Many states and utilities are committed to ramping up their energy efficiency programs this year and even more are considering similar steps. For example, Massachusetts electric utility programs are targeting 2.4% savings this year as part of a ramp-up rate originally established a few years ago.
The manufacturing sector continues to lead the recovery in the U.S., according to the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) October 2011 Manufacturing ISM Report on Business®. ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey reported the 27th consecutive month of expansion in the manufacturing sector.
Study: Energy Efficiency Loan Financing Proving to be a Low Risk Investment with Large-Scale Potential
Energy Efficiency Loan Programs Default Rates Range from 0–3% and Remained Largely Unchanged During Housing Bubble Collapse
2010 was a mixed year for energy efficiency with significant progress at the state level, but ultimately only modest success to show on the national level, particularly from Congress. As our 2010 ACEEE State Energy Policy Scorecard documented, progress continued to be made at the state level.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its Chicago Business Barometer™ soared in December to its highest level since July 1988, representing the 15th consecutive month of expansion. Furthermore, Midwest production reached its highest level since October 2004 and new orders have returned to 2005 levels.