Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- Energy efficiency improvements can save Pennsylvania consumers nearly $5 billion each year on energy bills and help create 27,000 new, local jobs by 2025, according to an analysis released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), an independent, nonprofit research group based in Washington, D.C. The study, which was led by ACEEE with support from a team of national energy experts, examines the potential for greater energy efficiency, demand response, and onsite solar energy use in Pennsylvania and suggests a suite of policies to tap into the Commonwealth’s energy savings potential and reap substantial economic benefits.
“Energy efficiency is the cheapest and quickest way to address our energy needs,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE and co-author of the study. “And because energy efficiency will save consumers money on energy bills and create new, local jobs, it is clear that an aggressive commitment to energy efficiency will also be a huge win for the Pennsylvania economy.”
The report notes that last year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed major energy legislation to establish a clean energy fund and to set near-term energy savings goals for electric utilities. “With these recent steps, and with federal economic stimulus funding available to the states for energy efficiency improvements, Pennsylvania is poised to catapult forward its commitment to energy efficiency and other clean energy strategies,” said Maggie Eldridge, lead author of the report.
The report suggests a suite of energy efficiency and solar energy policies and programs beyond existing commitments in Pennsylvania that would help reap substantial economic benefits and act as a significant energy resource, meeting nearly a quarter of the Commonwealth’s electricity needs and 15% of its natural gas needs by 2025. These include:
- A statewide home retrofit program, expanding upon two existing Home Performance with Energy Star programs now operating in Pennsylvania
- Stronger energy codes for new buildings and expanded efforts for code implementation and enforcement
- A long-term Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS), which extends energy savings goals for electricity utilities beyond 2013 and expands goals to natural gas utilities
- Incentives for consumers, installers and manufacturers for onsite solar energy, such as photovoltaics (PV) and solar hot water heating
- An industrial initiative to expand industry-specific energy efficiency expertise and offer energy assessments and efficiency expertise to manufacturers
- Workforce development coordination among various state and local entities
- Expanded demand response capabilities to help shift energy use from peak periods to off-peak periods
- Appliance efficiency standards beyond those set at the federal level
“Each individual policy recommendation can help set Pennsylvania on a path toward a clean energy future,” said Eldridge. “And together, these actions can work holistically to substantially tap into the energy-savings potential in the Commonwealth, meeting up to a quarter of the state’s electricity needs by 2025 while savings consumers billions of dollars and creating tens of thousands of new jobs.”
The new, “green collar” jobs created from energy efficiency improvements include well-paying trade and professional jobs needed to design, install, and operate efficiency measures in homes, businesses, and industries. In total, the direct and indirect jobs created would be equivalent to about 200 new manufacturing plants relocating to Pennsylvania. The study also examines the impacts of the statewide efficiency policy suite on the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metro regions, and estimates that about 50% of the net consumer benefits and jobs impacts would occur in these areas.
The report is the latest in a series of ACEEE analyses on state opportunities for energy efficiency and other clean energy resources. For more information on ACEEE’s research on state-level energy efficiency, visit http://www.aceee.org/sector/state-policy.
Potential for Energy Efficiency, Demand Response, and Onsite Solar Energy in Pennsylvania is available for free download at www.aceee.org/pubs/e093.htm or a hard copy can be purchased for $65 plus $5 postage and handling from ACEEE Publications, 529 14th St, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045, phone: 202-507-4000, fax: 202-429-2248, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, contact ACEEE, 529 14th Street N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045 or visit aceee.org.