U.S. needs to think big about energy efficiency

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has issued a comprehensive new report that concludes America can slash energy use by 60%, save energy consumers up to $400 billion a year (the equivalent of $2,600 per household annually), and create almost 2 million net jobs by 2050.  We just need to get serious about energy efficiency.

I know, I know, with a name like American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy what conclusion would they be expected to reach?  But that doesn’t change the fact that they are right.  They’re spot on with their conclusion!

There is so much low-hanging fruit in energy-efficiency improvements that would yield far better results and returns than investing equivalent amounts of money in constructing more power plants and transmission infrastructure or trying to commercialize new energy sources.  And it can be done.  The U.S. economy has tripled in size since 1970 and three-quarters of the energy needed for that growth has come from increased efficiency – not new energy supplies.

An obvious area to focus a lot of the energy-efficiency investments and efforts is in electricity generation and transmission, which has the same level of inefficiency that existed in 1960 – when Dwight D. Eisenhower was still President.  Our electricity system is so shamefully inefficient (about 31% efficiency) that the wasted energy would be more than enough to power all of Japan.

With all that upside, doesn’t improved energy-efficiency seem pretty reasonable?

For more information, check out their website at: www.aceee.org.

About the Author

Mark H. Witte is a strong proponent for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and believes individuals should have more control over how the energy for their homes is produced.