A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. One key finding: the United States has found so many innovative ways to save energy that the nation has more than doubled its economic productivity from oil, natural gas, and electricity over the previous 40 years, which means energy efficiency has contributed more to meeting America’s needs than all other resources combined.  Now with solar and wind producing more power than coal and natural gas in 2015 and set into 2016, green smart energy is here to stay.

“…..due to the huge and inexpensive resource of energy efficiency — getting more out of every energy dollar,” said Ralph Cavanagh, NRDC co-director of the energy program.

NRDC’s First Annual Energy and Environment Report showed back then that total U.S. energy use in 2012 was below the 1999 level even though the economy grew by more than 25 percent (adjusted for inflation) during that period.

As a result of national energy efficiency measures, factories and businesses are producing substantially more products and value with less energy, the amount of gasoline per mile driven is down, and the cost of all energy services (from lighting to refrigeration) also has decreased.

“These energy reductions are saving hundreds of billions of dollars every year, helping U.S. workers and companies compete worldwide, and making our country more secure,” Cavanagh said.

The report notes that the amount of climate-warming carbon dioxide pollution also is down, putting the nation on track to meet President Obama’s emissions reduction target of 17 percent over the seven years, though much more must be done to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Here is a snapshot of the report’s enerfy efficiency major findings:

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Energy efficiency standards and financial incentives, underwritten mostly by the utility industry, have dramatically reduced both the energy intensity and costs of energy. And new fuel economy standards are reducing America’s oil imports by more than 2 million barrels per day.

The report also notes that additional investments in efficiency could cut U.S. energy consumption by 23 percent by 2020, save customers nearly $700 billion, and create up to 900,000 direct jobs (plus countless more when consumers spend their savings elsewhere). But first a number of additional steps are necessary, including:

  1. At the personal and business levels, we must take additional steps to achieve energy efficiencies that cost and pollute less, such as upgrading our homes with Iris by Lowe’s and offices with more energy-efficient products and installing better-performing appliances and lighting;
  2. The federal government and the states must keep tightening efficiency standards for buildings, equipment, and vehicles; and
  3. State regulators need to eliminate widely applied policies that unintentionally penalize utilities for encouraging customers to save energy.

Or you can simply check out the infographic by Iris by Lowe’s below.

“The report is a powerful rebuttal of the ill-considered ‘all of the above’ energy philosophy, which is both unaffordable and environmentally irresponsible,” said Cavanagh. “We should learn from forty years of economy-wide demonstrations that the fastest, cheapest, and cleanest energy solutions all involve getting more work out of less electricity, oil, and natural gas.”


WASHINGTON (October 8, 2013)– full issue brief here: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/energy-environment-report
Read Ralph Cavanagh’s blog here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/rcavanagh/

Source: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Iris by Lowe’s

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