According to a report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), the United States’ investments in energy-efficiency research and development have generated significant economic benefit for the nation.

The NRC looked at 17 energy-efficiency projects representing $1.6 billion in federal investment. This is about 20% of the $7.3 billion that the Department of Energy (DOE) has spent over the last 22 years. It was estimated that this $1.6 billion investment yielded a net benefit of $30 billion.

Three projects that cost just $11 million provided the greatest payoff: compressors for refrigerators and freezers, energy-efficient fluorescent-lighting electronic ballasts, and low-emission (low-e) window glass that resists transmission of heat through windows.

The NRC also credits the federal standards and regulations that have incorporated the efficiencies attained by these technologies, making sure that they would be adopted across the country.

Publication date: 09/10/2001