Energy efficiency. Not the sexiest topic in the world, but what if it could save you a ton of money?
According to a new study, national efficiency standards could save consumers and businesses more than $1.1 trillion while reducing emissions by 2035. Conducted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the study found an additional $170 billion in future savings from updates to existing standards and new standards for products.
The prolific ACEEE has teamed up with ASAP to find dollar and emissions savings for Americans through energy efficiency policy. According to Andrew deLaski, executive director of ASAP, a coalition of consumer, environmental and efficiency groups, “Standards have been a bipartisan energy policy success story stretching across four decades and five presidencies.” Indeed, the original national efficiency standards covering refrigerators and other appliances were signed into law in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan.
For consumers there are real, noticeable savings through energy efficiency standards. Households that buy these efficient products will save around $10,000 over the next 15 years, paying a third less on their energy bills.
Current efficiency standards cover 55 categories of products ranging from air conditioners to electric motors. The new study looks at how those standards can be expanded. “Our research found that a combination of updates for existing standards and first-time standards for products like computers, TV set-top boxes and street lights would add to the track record of big energy, economic and environmental benefits achieved by standards,” said Amanda Lowenberger, lead report author and senior research analyst at ACEEE.
Over the next 20 years, existing efficiency standards will increase electricity savings by 14 percent per year. An additional 7 percent in annual savings could be achieved by 2035 through the study’s supplementary standards. As noted in the press release, 34 products with new and updated standards include, “electric water heaters, reflector light bulbs, distribution transformers, electric motors and computers. The largest net economic savings would come from new clothes washer and outdoor lighting standards.”
For consumers there are real, noticeable savings through energy efficiency standards. Households that buy these efficient products will save around $10,000 over the next 15 years, paying a third less on their energy bills. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “Over the past 20 years, Americans, with help from ENERGY STAR, have saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from more than 350 million vehicles.” The evidence is clear: these ‘doing more with less' standards reduce emissions and bills.