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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Reports Show Efficiency Measures a Clear Win for Consumer Savings

Waxman-Markey paves the way with over $100 billion in energy efficiency investment

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Two reports released this week highlight the potential for energy efficiency to help Americans meet their energy needs while saving massive amounts of money.

In separate reports released by McKinsey & Company and the National Academy of Sciences, energy efficiency is confirmed to be a vast, mostly untapped energy resource in the United States that is a clear winner on three fronts:

  • Helps meet increasing U.S. energy demand;
  • Saves Americans money;
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The McKinsey report released Wednesday finds that a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy executed economy-wide would yield more than $1.2 trillion in energy savings, well above the $520 billion needed for upfront energy efficiency investments. Such a program would reduce energy consumption roughly 23 percent by 2020 and avoid the emission of more than one billion tons of greenhouse gases annually. This is equal to the annual emissions of 200 large coal power plants.

"An efficient economy is an effective economy. These studies support our national efforts to increase the energy efficiency of America's power plants, homes and businesses," said Congressman Edward J. Markey, Chairman of twin energy and environment panels in the House. "My mother always told me, 'work smarter, not harder.' We can use energy in smarter ways, create an electricity internet Smart Grid, and get our smartest inventors working on new energy technologies."

In a joint report released Tuesday, the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering found that "the deployment of existing energy-efficiency technologies is the nearest-term and lowest-cost option for moderating our nation's demand for energy, especially over the next decade." Accelerated deployment of currently available energy-saving technologies in the buildings, industrial, and transportation sectors could reduce energy use by 15 percent by 2020 compared to business as usual and by 30 percent by 2030. This would more than offset future increases in energy consumption projected by the Department of Energy.

The reports also agree that these gains from energy efficiency will not be achieved without targeted policies that support energy efficiency investment. The Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), which passed out of the House of Representatives last month, includes energy efficiency provisions and investments likely to exceed $100 billion through 2025, including:

  • A renewable electricity and energy efficiency standard that requires utilities to obtain 20 percent of their energy from renewables and efficiency by 2020. This would put utilities in the business of helping their customers use energy more efficiently;
  • Enhanced building codes that achieve 30% and 50% higher energy efficiency in 2010 and 2016;
  • Cost-effective energy efficiency programs for natural gas consumers;
  • State and local government funds for implementing renewable energy and efficiency projects;
  • Increased appliance and lighting standards;
  • Building efficiency program for retrofitting existing residential and commercial buildings;
  • Energy efficient manufactured home program provides rebates toward purchases of new Energy Star-rated manufactured homes for low-income families residing in pre-1976 manufactured homes.


PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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