WASHINGTON — States have been essential to the progress the United States has made in using energy more efficiently, according to a new paper released by the National Governors Association (NGA).

Governors play an important role in advancing energy efficiency and are supporting efforts to help consumers lower their energy costs, reduce state energy expenditures, defer the need for new power plant investments, strengthen system reliability, and reduce environmental impacts. An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors describes successful actions governors have taken to further cost-effective energy efficiency.

“Governors are looking for ways to increase energy efficiency because of the multiple benefits it offers citizens and businesses, including cost savings,” said Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “The opportunity exists for even greater energy savings, and states are continuing to explore options.”

Governors have worked with legislators, regulators, and others to advance energy efficiency in a variety of ways. Examples of recent state actions include:

• Conducting energy planning to analyze potential energy savings and explore best practices;

• Improving energy efficiency rules and standards for buildings and appliances;

• Incentivizing spending by utilities to provide increased energy efficiency to homes, businesses, and industries;

• Supporting innovative financing and repayment mechanisms to encourage private sector investment;

• Creating new efforts that use information technology to spur enhanced energy savings by consumers and businesses; and

• Supporting research and development through partnerships with universities and the private sector to encourage the next generation of energy efficiency initiatives.

For more information, visit www.nga.org/cms/center/eet.

Publication date: 11/4/2013

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