Los Angeles, CA– New national report finds that California households would save an average of $209 per year and 66,200 sustainable jobs would be created in the state over the next ten years if Congress acts now to include strong energy efficiency improvements in energy and climate legislation. The report, entitled Energy Efficiency in the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009: Impacts of Current Provisions and Opportunities to Enhance the Legislation, was released by Environment California and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The efficiency provisions would prevent 30 million metric tons of global warming emissions; this is the equivalent of removing the pollution from over 5 million cars from the road for a year.
“It is unacceptable for the most innovative, energetic and entrepreneurial country in the world not to be an active participant of the green energy revolution. With the enactment of the American Clean Energy and Securities Act we will no longer sit idly by as the rest of the industrialized world makes progress toward achieving energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions—we will be leading the charge. Now the Senate must act to make this important goal a reality,” said Xavier Becerra, United States Congressman for District 31 and Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
“It’s time to harness the power of American ingenuity to put thousands of people back to work and save businesses and consumers money on their energy bills every year in California” said Rhonda Mills, Southern California Director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT).
The report also found that energy efficiency policies from the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), which passed the House of Representatives in June, would create 38,900 new jobs, save the average household $137 a year, and reduce annual carbon emissions by 18.3 million metric tons in California by 2020.
“Taking control of our energy future means creating much needed jobs, putting money in the pockets of consumers and diminishing the effects of global warming – and energy efficiency is one of the best vehicles we have to get us there,” said David Fink, the Policy and Legislative Associate at Global Green USA.
“Americans know that energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest, cheapest way of reducing our energy use and pollution,” concluded Kate Goltermann, Federal Field Associate at Environment California. “These common sense solutions will put cash back in our pockets and help protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the future of the planet.”
“While the House bill is a critical first step in harnessing the power of energy efficiency, this report shows we can save even more money, create more jobs and reduce more pollution,” said Kate Goltermann. “Senators Boxer and Feinstein should lead the fight for common sense energy efficiency policies and jumpstart the transition to a clean energy economy.”
The group called for policy improvements which would generate more than 569,000 clean energy jobs and save the average household $283 per year nationwide by 2020. These policy improvements would result in 48 percent more jobs and 32 percent more consumer savings than the efficiency measures in the House passed bill. In addition these improvements would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 480 million metric tons in 2020, equivalent to taking over 87 million cars off the road for a year.
“We can put Californians to work in green technology jobs that will help turn our economy around, and contribute to energy savings and pollution reduction,” said Marcy Drummond, Vice President of Workforce Education and Economic Development at Los Angeles Trade-Technical Community College. “We’re talking about using today’s technology to create a safer, stronger, more prosperous tomorrow.”
Senators can maximize economic benefits to consumers by:
* Supporting a strengthened Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) requiring utility companies to reduce their energy usage by at least 10 percent by providing incentives and assistance to help customers make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient (ACESA included a 5% EERS with an optional 3% increase).
* Modeling electric utility allocation on that of the natural gas utility allocation in ACES, by requiring that one-third be used for energy efficiency improvements.
* Extending the allocation of carbon allowance revenue to the State Energy and Environmental Development (SEED) provision.
Environment California is a state-based, citizen-funded environmental organization working for clean air, clean water, and open space.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient America (ACEEE) is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. For more information, see www.aceee.org.