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EPA, DOE Create State Energy Efficiency Action Network

energyprogramThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have established the State Energy Efficiency (SEE) Action Network that is designed to speed up the progress of energy-efficiency initiatives across the nation.

Driven by the Obama Administration’s commitment to increase energy efficiency and reduce costs, the network will provide states with technical and policy support they need to invest in energy efficiency, helping to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, save energy and cut costs, according to the federal agencies.

A 2009 report from McKinsey & Company shows how the United States can save more than $1.2 trillion in energy costs across residential, industrial and commercial sectors.

Under the SEE Action Network, which will be led by the DOE and the EPA, the federal agencies along with other member organizations will help states with their energy-efficiency initiatives, including residential efficiency programs, financing solutions and improving availability of energy usage information.

The DOE recently released recommendations on how to achieve 50-percent energy savings in general merchandise, grocery store, lodging and medium office buildings.

The network will drive energy efficiency by using a set of goals established by the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, but plans to reach these goals five years earlier than the original target date of 2025. As an example, one goal includes the implementation of state-of-the-art billing systems that provide consumers with information on their energy use and costs.

The SEE Action Executive Group will meet for the first time in early March.

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2 thoughts on “EPA, DOE Create State Energy Efficiency Action Network

  1. I’m curious why this group is needed. The states aren’t infants, they are well informed about sustainable environmental practices and are implementing them as we speak. If monitoring is needed to make sure federal standards are achieved, that would seem a simple task. The states could be required to submit uniform reports to the EPA and DOE for “grading”. The EPA and DOE would then issue “report cards.” I question the need for another federal group or agency, costing money, but which has no real purpose because the underlying assumption that the states are babies who need hand-holding is faulty.

  2. Some states are well informed and implementing policies that support energy efficiency and others are definitely not, or are just getting started. By sharing info between states on failures, successes etc, other states or utility programs can avoid costly errors in program design or implementation. Deployment of energy efficiency is still an area of innovation and collaboration is very cost-effective when it comes to design, whether policy design or program design. It is totally appropriate for the feds to use their convening power to bring together state energy and energy efficiency interests to share best practices and learn from each other. This is not about standards, is not a paternalistic effort and will not create a new agency or program. Typically, peer to peer groups like this just require a few staffers at the agencies acting as facilitators and drivers of collaborative action who bring together working groups who directly benefit from participating.

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