ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A new national report finds that Michigan households would save an average of $211 per year and 19,600 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 Michigan and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The efficiency provisions would prevent 10 million metric tons of global warming emissions, this is the equivalent of removing the pollution from over 1.8 million cars from the road for a year.
“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 Michigan” said Andy Such, Executive Director of the Michigan Sustainable Energy Coalition. “By supporting stronger energy efficiency components as part of energy and climate legislation, our senators can bring big economic results when their constituents need them most.”
“Americans know that energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest, cheapest way of reducing our energy use and pollution,” concluded Shelley Vinyard, Environmental Associate for Environment Michigan. “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.”
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 12.800 new jobs, save the average household $156 a year, and reduce annual carbon emissions by 6.9 million metric tons in Michigan by 2020.
“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 Vinyard “Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin 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.
“Investments in energy efficiency represent a major opportunity for Michigan to create jobs, save money, and reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels,” said Amy Butler, Director of the Bureau of Energy Systems. “By replacing traditional fossil fuel energy, Michigan’s energy efficiency program will save Michigan over $3 billion in electricity costs over the next 20 years.”
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.