WASHINGTON — The case for energy efficiency in the United States is this — every year, much of the energy that the U.S. consumes is wasted. That’s why during his first public speech, the new Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, said he was making energy efficiency a focal point during his tenure.

To meet the president’s goals of doubling America’s energy productivity by 2030, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is going to continue to push for efficiency improvements across multiple sectors of the economy. DOE will also work to strengthen its work with states and regions, where a lot of the activity with respect to energy efficiency is taking place.

Moniz said in his speech that the case for energy efficiency is clear:

• The appliance standards that DOE has enacted over the last four years will save American families trillions of dollars over a few decades. DOE will work to facilitate the development of new appliance standards.

• Manufacturing is another focus of DOE. A recently announced new manufacturing initiative will focus on improving wide bandgap semiconductors, which could have significant impacts on everything from industrial appliances to computers.

• Building efficiency is a major opportunity. DOE will pick up the pace to meet the president’s commitment of $200 billion worth of energy savings performance contracts.

Moniz closed his speech saying, “I just don’t see solutions to our biggest energy and environmental problems without a very strong demand-side response, and that’s why it’s logical to focus on energy efficiency.”

Publication date: 6/10/2013