WASHINGTON - An aggressive pursuit of energy efficiency in the United States over the next 18 years could cut the nation’s growth in energy use by 50 percent or more, according to a new report called “Vision for 2025: Developing a Framework for Change.”
The report was prepared by the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency Leadership Group, which comprises more than 60 leading organizations, with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acting as facilitators. The report sets a goal of achieving all cost-effective energy efficiency improvements throughout the United States by 2025. If that goal is achieved, the nation would spend $100 billion less for energy in 2025 than it would otherwise and avoid emitting 500 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The nation would also achieve $500 billion in net savings from its energy efficiency investments.
To achieve that goal, the report calls for placing a high priority on cost-effective energy efficiency improvements, creating energy efficiency incentives for utilities, and implementing the latest technologies. The report recommends establishing policies, incentives, delivery mechanisms, metrics, and utility billing systems that not only encourage energy efficiency but also measure its effectiveness and reward utilities for successful energy efficiency programs. The report also emphasizes the sharing of information, both regionally and nationally, and the use of advanced communication technologies to keep utilities in touch with their customers and aware of how their customers are using energy.
The National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency Leadership Group includes 30 electric and gas utilities, 17 state agencies, and 12 other organizations, plus the DOE and EPA as facilitators. An additional 24 organizations are observing the work of the leadership group. Since its launch in late July 2006, 120 organizations have made commitments to advance energy efficiency under the National Action Plan. An EPA document released in conjunction with the new report tallies all those commitments and the achievements to date. The participating organizations include government agencies and utility commissions in 26 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. A number of utilities, corporations, and regional and national organizations are also participating.
The full report is available at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/pdf/vision.pdf