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Will clean energy policies like CES help give energy efficiency its due?

The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources convened last Thursday to receive testimony on Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (CES), a bill that aims to create a federal clean energy standard but critically lacks incentives to make gains in energy efficiency at electric utilities or manufacturing facilities.

ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley hammered this point home during Great Energy Efficiency Day last Wednesday.

At Thursday’s hearing, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen reminded participants that “energy efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to address our energy needs.” Sen. Shaheen, who last year proposed a bill to increase energy efficiency in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, suggested that the CES be amended to include efficiency.

Among the witnesses touting the benefits of energy efficiency, Collin O’Mara, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, offered his comments to the group:

[quote]Energy efficiency is our nation’s greatest energy supply resource and represents the greatest potential to reduce energy costs compared to any other supply alternative.[/quote]

He added that as much as 16-30 percent of overall energy consumption could be reduced through energy efficiency measures, which are even cheaper than the least costly, traditional generation source.

From environmental benefits to reduced costs and energy savings, energy policies such as CESA need to put energy efficiency on equal footing with other clean energy technologies. “It’s a win-win proposition,” as Dooley said last week, and a bottom-line issue for the U.S. business of chemistry.

Learn more about the importance of energy efficiency, and the key role that chemistry plays in nearly all energy efficiency innovations.

View the full webcast of the Clean Energy Standard Act hearing

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