A federal energy-efficiency target for reducing electricity and gas usage could result in utility bill savings of $168.6 billion for consumers and businesses, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This is 16 percent higher than ACEEE’s previous savings estimate of $144 billion.
ACEEE’s report, “Laying the Foundation for Implementing a Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard,” analyzes 2008 economic and energy data, and estimates benefits of a federal energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) that requires utilities to reduce electricity demand by 15 percent and natural gas demand by 10 percent by 2020.
Key findings indicate significant benefits can be achieved by the proposed federal EERS including 220,000 net permanent jobs, 262 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions prevented, and 390 power plants that won’t need to be built.
The Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America, a coalition calling on Congress to enact a federal energy-efficiency target, supports a federal EERS. This EERS is included in both House and Senate versions (H.R. 889 and S. 548) of the Save American Energy Act, introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).