Report: Efficiency measures could save U.S. billions, double energy productivity

By Laura D’Alessandro

The U.S. could claim the title of global energy efficiency leader through measures proposed in the Energy 2030 plan, produced by the Alliance to Save Energy in early February.

The plan came out of the alliance’s Commission on National Energy Policy, chaired by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tom King, president of National Grid U.S. While ambitious—the plan aims to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030—Warner called it “an issue we can get done,” in a news conference, according to Reuters. He said energy efficiency has bipartisan support in Congress.

The plan includes provisions to create jobs, cut household energy costs and save businesses an estimated $169 billion per year.  Through energy-saving measures, the plan also stands to save the nation $97 billion in building energy costs, $139 billion in transportation costs and $94 billion in industry costs.

But energy waste must be brought to a halt if such savings are to be had, the alliance said. Additionally, the plan calls for expanded financing opportunities, reformed taxes and regulations, stronger standards, and heightened consumer awareness. 

While the U.S. trails behind other countries in energy productivity, the alliance said, the policy commission believes there are more than $1 trillion in energy saving opportunities if the right government support and private-sector buy-in takes place. 

“Our Energy 2030 plan goes well beyond capturing the more obvious energy efficiency benefits to uncover significant economic opportunities,” King said in a news release. “The solutions will drive innovation and new technologies forward, improving and modernizing U.S. infrastructure and helping us to compete globally.”

According to a Bloomberg News article, the plan also includes recommendations to develop a ratings system for buildings based their energy retention, encouraging businesses to conserve and providing more efficiency workforce training

The alliance is collaborating with members of Congress to develop legislation that can implement what the Energy 2030 plan proposes.