After work, to unwind, I like to turn on the TV. There is just something about watching people escape from zombies or write 1960s advertising slogans that takes my mind off my day’s work. After I’m all caught up on the soapy cable dramas, though, I get myself into trouble. That’s when I inevitably wind up on reality TV. When I watch a sea of fawning bachelors courting a lone bachelorette, or a young heiress making her way in the business world, it bothers me that these shows fail to truly portray reality. And then I start thinking about work again.
If you’ve gone for a jog or visited your neighborhood gym recently, you may have noticed new accessories popping up amid the sea of iPhones and earbuds. There’s a good chance that some of your fellow runners or gym goers have been using wearable performance monitors—like the Fitbit Flex or Jawbone UP—to track their physical activity. Or perhaps you’ve seen a post from a friend on Facebook bragging about their new personal record for fastest mile. The idea behind these devices and apps is simple: the better you track performance, the more knowledge you have to improve your routine.
State and local governments are laboratories for innovation in energy efficiency policies and programs. Policymakers, regulators, and citizens at all levels increasingly recognize that energy efficiency is crucially important to their economies and are increasingly taking action and seeking information on policies and programs in their communities. Today ACEEE is launching a new database tool that highlights the energy efficiency leadership—and opportunities for improvement—of state and local governments around the United States.
Energy Efficiency Costs Utilities 2 to 3 Times Less Than Traditional Power Sources; Average of 2.8 Cents per Kilowatt Hour
Washington, D.C.—According to a new report released today by ACEEE, energy efficiency is the cheapest method of providing Americans with electricity. Energy efficiency programs aimed at reducing energy waste cost utilities only about three cents per kilowatt hour, while generating the same amount of electricity from sources such as fossil fuels can cost two to three times more.
As 2013 draws to a close, it's useful to reflect back on the past year and look forward to the coming one. Despite political and economic headwinds, the states and federal and local governments continued to make progress on energy efficiency policies in 2013. Among the states, Mississippi and Louisiana decided to begin utility programs, and Connecticut and Maine passed legislation to advance efficiency initiatives.
What energy efficiency policies make sense for your community? This question is not always easy to answer. Energy efficiency can be a complex topic. It is made more difficult because there are few one-size-fits-all solutions for every project, program, or policy. However, tools like ACEEE’s new local energy efficiency policy calculator (LEEP-C) can make this complex question a little bit easier to answer.
The 2012 Farm Bill is still several months away from really heating up, but we are already starting to think about what our priorities should be. Given today’s political climate, it seems likely that there will be some deep funding cuts compared to the 2008 Farm Bill.
Last Thursday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced cuts in Energy Data and Analysis Programs resulting from the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget deal. While the 14% annual cut looks small, because we are half-way through the fiscal year, this translates into a much larger cut for the remainder of the year, which ends in September.
While the ACEEE 30th Anniversary Policy and Analysis Conference included many excellent presentations on the two topics in its title, based on the scope of discussions, the conference might have been more accurately named the Policy, Analysis, and Communications Conference. It was clear that too often, the policy and analysis communities speak different languages.
Our Perspective on the “Rebound Effect” – Is It True That the More Efficient a Product Becomes, the More Its Owner Will Use It?
Two recent articles have argued that as the energy efficiency of products improve, it becomes less expensive to operate these products and as a result, people increase their use of these products, increasing energy use and potentially wiping out the energy savings caused by the efficiency gains.