Chemistry propels states in an “energy efficiency race to the top”

“Let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years,” President Obama declared in his State of the Union address last week, seizing the opportunity to introduce a new “Energy Efficiency Race to the Top” program to encourage states to adopt stronger building energy standards and support combined heat and power (CHP) at industrial facilities.

ACC has long-supported updating building energy codes and promoting CHP to improve energy efficiency. 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption is used in buildings and 31 percent is used in industry. Updated building codes would boost energy savings and reduce greenhouse gases — while combined heat and power could produce energy twice as efficiently as older coal-burning electric utilities.

The Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy recently set a commendable goal to double energy productivity by 2030. And, earlier this month, Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) released an energy blueprint that included strategies to boost innovations in energy efficiency that will result in economic and environmental benefits across the country.

Chemistry innovations are sure to play an important role in reducing our energy use in the coming years.

According to a recent report by the International Council of Chemical Associations, energy-efficient technologies could help buildings reduce energy consumption by 41 percent by 2050. Innovations such as high-performance insulation, Low-E glass and IR-reflecting acrylic glazing, just to name a few, are already playing a huge part. Still, it seems like chemistry is only getting started.

You can read more about ACC”s recommendations for a comprehensive national energy strategy at

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