Energy efficiency a gift that can keep on giving, ACEEE report shows

A new study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) demonstrates that, while many Americans have already begun to experience the benefits of energy efficiency, those benefits could be amplified even more in the years to come.

Some of the report’s highlights:

  • Energy efficiency investments increased 80 percent from 2004 to 2010
  • Energy efficiency measures and technology supported a net gain of 300,000 jobs in 2010
  • Energy efficiency has covered three-fourths of energy demand in the U.S. and has kept per person consumption at about the same level since 1970

The U.S. invested 3.4 times the amount in energy efficiency in 2010 as it did in conventional energy technology, “an indication that productivity of the U.S. economy may be linked more to efficiency than extracting energy resources,” E&E reporter Nayantara Narayanan said in her coverage of the report. Still, both energy sources are critical parts of a comprehensive national energy strategy.

As we’ve said before, nearly every energy-saving technology depends on innovations in chemistry. High-performance insulation, windows and doors, reflective coatings, solar panels, energy-saving lights and appliances, lithium-ion batteries, fuel additives, lightweight components for vehicles… Name the tool or technology, and you may be surprised to find that chemistry helps it help you conserve energy and save money.

What’s more, the wider adoption of existing efficiency technologies, enabled by chemistry, could lower energy use in buildings by 41 percent by 2050. Energy efficiency really can be a gift that keeps on giving.

By lowering energy costs, we free up capital that can be reinvested elsewhere. Consumers have more purchasing power and businesses can more easily afford to expand operations or upgrade their facilities. New jobs are created, American businesses become more competitive and the economy grows.

The bottom line… Promoting energy efficiency is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to boost our nation’s economy.

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