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Energy Efficiency

April 30, 2014

American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE)

Media Contact(s):
Patrick Kiker, 202-507-4043, Communications Associate

Energy Efficiency Would Allow EPA to Set More Aggressive CO2 Reduction Targets, Increasing GDP by $17.2 Billion and Creating 611,000 New Jobs, While Providing States More Flexibility to Manage their Energy Resources

Washington, D.C. — A new study by ACEEE outlines how energy efficiency could be used in an upcoming standard by the U Continued.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce CO2 levels with no net cost to the economy. The standard, currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget and likely to be released in early June, would set a CO2 emissions limit for existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

The study shows how the Environmental Protection Agency could use four common energy efficiency policies to set a carbon pollution standard that reduces emissions to 26% below 2012 levels. In 2030, these policies would save 600 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, save over 925 million MWh of electricity, reduce electricity demand by 25%, and avoid the need for 494 power plants.

"If the Environmental Protection Agency is looking for a way to cheaply cut carbon pollution and boost the economy while giving states the freedom to use their energy resources, energy efficiency is the answer," said ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel.

Furthermore, adoption of these policies would significantly boost the economy, increasing the national gross domestic product by $17.2 billion and creating 611,000 new jobs across the country in 2030. This number includes people employed in jobs directly related to energy efficiency like home contractors and construction, and people like small business owners and their employees who benefit as money saved is spent back into the local economy.

"Energy efficiency is a proven economic driver that can help states already committed to reducing their energy waste, leveraging American ingenuity to create jobs while cleaning up the air," said Richard Caperton, director of national policy and partnerships at Opower.

Compliance with a new CO2 standard for existing power plants will ultimately fall to the states. Including energy efficiency in the standard as a way to meet the CO2 reduction targets will allow states more flexibility as they find ways to manage their energy portfolios.

The good news is that the energy efficiency technologies included in the plan have already been tested and are ready to be deployed. The vast majority of states already take advantage of some end-use energy efficiency programs and policies, and all states have vast untapped reserves of this resource.

The four policies included in the plan are: setting a state energy savings target of 1.5% per year, implementing updated national model building codes, constructing economically attractive combined heat and power facilities, and adopting standards for five appliances.

Since the 1970s, energy efficiency has been a major contributor to the U.S. energy landscape. Previous research by ACEEE found that economy-wide improvements in energy efficiency contributed to a more than a 50% reduction in U.S. energy use relative to what it would have been if pre-1973 trends continued. Economy-wide improvements in energy efficiency, along with structural changes in our economy, supplied more energy than domestic coal, natural gas, and oil combined.

Another recent report by ACEEE also found that energy efficiency is the lowest-cost electricity resource for utilities. Programs aimed at helping customers save energy cost utilities only about three cents per kilowatt hour, while generating the same amount of electricity from burning coal or natural gas can cost two to three times more.
"Energy efficiency is the ultimate resource: clean, reliable, and cheap," said the new study’s lead author, Sara Hayes. "The Environmental Protection Agency has the opportunity to improve our air quality and our economy in one fell swoop."

To read the study,Change is in the Air: How States Can Harness Energy Efficiency to Strengthen the Economy and Reduce Pollution, visit: http://aceee.org/research-report/e1401

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Rick Barnett
EnergyBiz

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing has grown since its 2008 start as a solar financing tool, to include energy efficiency projects. PACE allows local government to administer efficiency loans using private capital and the jurisdiction’s property tax system. Local taxing agencies assume new responsibilities, in between private lenders and private property owners.

Also since 2008, the benefits of energy efficiency have been documented in numerous reports from a wide range of sources. For example, the often-mentioned "Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the US Economy" (July, 2009, McKinsey & Company) concludes: "Energy efficiency offers a vast, low-cost energy resource for the U.S. economy, but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it". Efficiency is cast as a valuable resource, and a solution to "energy affordability, energy security, and greenhouse gas reduction". A summary of the McKinsey Report is available through the US Energy Information Agency: http://www.eia.gov/conference/2010/session9/granade.pdf bebidas energeticas y viagra

A more specific report about efficiency financing options was released by The Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Bank Group ("US Building Energy Retrofits", March, 2012). The Rockefeller-DB report states that "more than 3.3 million cumulative job years of employment could be created". can get levitra nhs

And in May, 2013, United Technologies (serving the global aerospace and building systems industries, www.utc.com ) produced "Unlocking American Efficiency". They concluded that, with existing technology and design practices, efficiency could generate "$65 billion dollars per year in savings, net of investment costs, for American households, businesses and government". The UTC report mentions PACE, but also notes that "utility efficiency programs deliver electricity demand reductions at an average cost of 5 cents per KWH, significantly below the cost of electricity supply in those areas".

While PACE has found widespread acceptance, most PACE loans are for commercial properties. PACENow (www.pacenow.org ) is a clearinghouse for PACE programs across the country. Last summer, the national organization Carbon War Room announced a partnership with Ygrene Energy Fund to launch "Clean Energy Green Corridor", a PACE program in South Florida. And the Texas Association of Manufacturers recently announced their support for PACE through a public-private coalition.

In 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) rejected the PACE mechanism, and effectively eliminated PACE from the residential sector. Without a financing tool, the documented potential of residential efficiency cannot be unlocked. Responding to the growing need for more efficiency, the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee invited testimony on 6/28/12, about "non-federal" financing options for "energy efficient building retrofits".

The Committee heard 6 industry leaders describe their respective approaches to efficiency financing. The 6 presentations are here: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=c217c8fd-0d77-465f-be7d-a6a4573cb34c

At the Senate Hearing, David Sundstrom described the well-known PACE program in Sonoma County, California. The Sonoma program is administered by the County tax department, and payments are made as an assessment added to regular property taxes. Homeowners borrow money from the County to pay for clean energy projects, including efficiency. The PACE loan is secured by the value of the property through a mechanism that affects the property’s mortgage. The mortgage interface is a key element of the FHFA controversy.

Another program presented at the Senate Hearing provides efficiency financing more directly than PACE. Shari Borrelli of the United Illuminating Company (a Connecticut utility) described the company’s "Small Business Energy Advantage Program". Her 4 page testimony can be found at http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=c2ef48af-369c-4528-b888-7b8584db035a

The United Illuminating Company energy retrofit program is operated by a private utility. The program does not include transactions between homeowners and public agencies: it simply connects building contractors to the company’s energy customers, and uses in-house, on-bill financing. Repayment is secured by the customer’s need for energy, rather than a complex, mortgage-based mechanism.

Based on their experience providing energy services, utilities can be expected to deliver more efficiency per dollar invested, and create even greater opportunities for efficiency businesses and investors. Utility financing also eliminates the risk, however assessed, of the stalled PACE option. With their ability to tie efficiency loans to the meter rather than the house or owner, utilities have the key to unlocking a vast economic opportunity.

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

NEWS RELEASE
ACEEE

ACEEE State Scorecard
Top 10 States Ranked in Energy Efficiency Scorecard: MA, CA, NY, OR, CT, RI, VT, WA, MD, and IL
5 States Most Needing Improvement: ND, WY, SD, AK, MS
5 Most Improved States: MS, ME, KS, OH, and WV

WASHINGTON, D.C., (November 6, 2013): Energy efficiency measures are thriving in state capitals around the United States, with several states—including Mississippi, Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia—taking major steps that moved them up the ranks in the seventh annual edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). For the first time in the history of the State Scorecard, the 2013 ranking of the states is being released with the participation of a U.S. Department of Energy secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, along with a top elected official of a state, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Available online at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard, the State Scorecard shows that the top 10 states for energy efficiency are: Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Maryland, and Illinois. Massachusetts retains the top spot for the third year in a row based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act. In California, requirements for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have led it to identify several strategies for smart growth, keeping the state in a top position at #2. Connecticut is also closing the gap due to passage of a major energy bill in 2013, and Illinois is making its first appearance in the top 10 this year, reaping the benefits of increased energy savings called for in the state’s energy efficiency resource standard.

According to the 2013 State Scorecard, the five states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are: North Dakota; Wyoming; South Dakota; Alaska; and Mississippi. However, Mississippi also appears on ACEEE’s list of the top five most improved states, revealing an upward trend as more and more states embrace energy efficiency. Last year Mississippi passed comprehensive energy legislation that included energy efficiency as a major component More Help. The bill included provisions setting an energy code for commercial and state-owned buildings. Mississippi is now set to become a regional leader in energy efficiency. West Virginia’s score improved due to the state adopting stronger building codes. The other three most improved states in 2013 were: Maine, Kansas, and Ohio.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz said: "Energy efficiency is a critical tool for cutting harmful carbon emissions and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families. We applaud the continued progress in energy efficiency nationwide and stand ready to help states as they make their communities cleaner and more sustainable, while saving taxpayer dollars and fostering greater economic growth."

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said: "Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in energy efficiency because we have made the choice to shape our future, rather than leave it to chance. We will continue to focus on policies that create jobs, decrease dependence on imported energy sources and protect our environment by reducing emissions."

ACEEE Executive Director Steve Nadel said: "In every region we are seeing states embrace energy saving measures with growing enthusiasm. From Massachusetts, which continues to be the pacesetter in the race to cut down energy waste, to Mississippi, which is emerging as a regional star, state governments are proving that smart policy can still cross partisan divides."

California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister said: "California continues earning its reputation as an energy leader by instituting the nation’s most advanced energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances, and for pushing the envelope on ratepayer-funded efficiency programs. Our standards alone have helped save ratepayers more than $75 billion since 1975, grown California’s economy with local jobs, and protected our climate by reducing carbon emissions. ACEEE is providing a valuable service by recognizing energy efficiency leaders that other states can follow. We are proud to be one of the leaders."

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner and Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Brandon Presley said: "Cutting down on energy waste has become an integral strategy for securing Mississippi’s energy future, and we are proud to become the most improved state in this year’s State Scorecard. Investing in energy efficiency helps utilities meet growing energy demand, provides reliable service for our customers, and produces economic benefits like energy cost savings. We look forward to seeing Mississippi emerge as a regional leader in tapping the vast economic benefits of energy efficiency."

In the seventh edition of the State Scorecard, ACEEE ranks states on their energy efficiency policy and program efforts, and provides recommendations for ways that states can improve their energy efficiency performance in a variety of policy areas. The State Scorecard report serves as a benchmark for state efforts on energy efficiency policies and programs each year, encouraging states to strengthen their efficiency commitments as a pragmatic and effective strategy for promoting economic growth, securing environmental benefits, and increasing their communities’ resilience in the face of uncertain energy costs and supplies.

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

Facing uncertain economic times, states are continuing to use energy efficiency as a key strategy to generate cost-savings, promote technological innovation, and stimulate growth. The ACEEE Scorecard documents the following trends:

  • Several states have made concentrated efforts related to energy efficiency. Arkansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania continue to reap the benefits of their energy efficiency resource standards (EERS), leading to substantially greater electricity efficiency investments and savings compared to what ACEEE reported in the 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
  • A total of 20 states fell in the rankings in the 2013 State Scorecard report, due to both changes in the report’s methodology and substantive changes in their performance. Idaho fell the furthest, by nine spots, largely because it did not keep up with peer states in utility efficiency spending and savings. Wisconsin dropped six spots, due to a significant drop in energy savings realized by the state’s efficiency program.
  • Connecticut passed a major energy bill in June 2013, calling for the benchmarking of state buildings, expanding combined heat and power programs, and doubling funding for energy efficiency programs.
  • The leading states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies are Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island. All three of these states have long records of success and continue to raise the bar on the delivery of cost-effective energy efficiency programs and policies.
  • The leading states in building energy codes and compliance are California, Washington, and Rhode Island. During the past year, seven states adopted the latest iteration of building energy codes.

METHODOLOGY

The 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard provides a broad assessment of policies and programs that improve energy efficiency in our homes, businesses, industries, and transportation systems. The State Scorecard examines the six policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency: utility and "public benefits" programs and policies; transportation polices; building energy codes and compliance; combined heat and power policies; appliance and equipment standards; and state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency.

ABOUT ACEEE

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit http://aceee.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell at (703) 276-3266 or pmitchell@hastingsgroup.com; and Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or aawolf@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard, an electronic copy of the ACEEE 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report and a high-resolution image of the ACEEE "logo" will be made available upon request on November 6, 2013.


ACEEE 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard:

Fair Use Notice
This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. SEED Coalition is making this article available in our efforts to advance understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a "fair use" of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.