Anna Aurilio,
Environment America

Strong Energy Efficiency Provisions in Energy Bill Would Save American Families $832 per Year, Create 1 Million New Jobs, and Avoid Nearly 1 Billion Tons of Pollution by 2030

For Immediate Release

American households would save an average of $832 per year and over one million sustainable jobs would be created in the United States by 2030 if Congress acts now to include strong energy efficiency improvements in energy and climate legislation, according to a report released today by Environment America and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. The report, Energy Efficiency in the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009: Impacts of Current Provisions and Opportunities to Enhance the Legislation,  analyzed the economic and environmental benefits of improving upon the energy efficiency provisions in the House-passed energy and climate bill. The energy efficiency policies analyzed in the report would also avoid more than 900 million tons of global warming emissions.    

“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” said Environment America Energy Program Director Rob Sargent. “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 Sargent.  “These common sense solutions will put cash back in our pockets while protecting 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 over 383,800 new jobs, save the average household $215 a year, and reduce annual carbon emissions by 296 million tons in the United States by 2020.

“The House bill makes great strides on harnessing the benefits of energy efficiency.   This report shows that we can build upon the strong provisions in the House-passed bill, to save even more money, create more jobs and reduce more pollution ,” said Rob Sargent.   “We are counting on the U.S. Senate to recognize that energy efficiency is best way to meet America’s energy, economic and environmental challenges.” 

The policy improvements analyzed in the report would result in 48 percent more jobs and 32 percent more consumer savings than the efficiency measures in the House passed bill.   Environment America called on Senators to maximize economic benefits to consumers and help achieve global warming pollution reductions at the lowest cost 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). 
  • Ensuring that electric utilities invest 1/3 of the pollution allowances they receive on energy efficiency as the best way to lower costs of consumers and the least cost way to reduce pollution.   
  • Providing more resources to state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency by extending the allocation of revenues from carbon pollution permits to the State Energy and Environmental Development (SEED) provision.