Efficiency plans before congress would save money, create Jobs, protect the climate

(ACEEE blog, 10 Sep 2021) As Congress scrambles to develop a bill to invest trillions of dollars in economic recovery, it seeks to create jobs, slash climate-warming emissions, and help people struggling to pay their bills. Transformative energy efficiency investments would deliver major progress on all three.

In a new analysis, we look at almost $350 billion of investments to save energy in every sector of the economy, largely proposals currently before Congress as it develops a “reconciliation” bill. We find that these investments could achieve over the lifetime of the investments and savings:

  • 3.2 million added jobs (job years)
  • 4.5 billion tons of reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, equivalent to total U.S. emissions for 11 months
  • $282 billion in energy bill savings and other consumer benefits (e.g., manufacturing cost, health, and comfort benefits) above the investment

The new analysis does not include savings from expanding utility efficiency programs. However, in a recent fact sheet we present an analysis that found that spurring utilities through a combination of payments and fees to expand assistance for households and businesses to undertake energy-saving measures could cut another 2.4 billion tons of emissions, with a federal cost of just $4-10 billion.

$350 billion is a big investment, far more than what the government spends now on efficiency, but over 10 years, it’s less than private spending on efficiency (and less than what supporters are seeking in the bill for renewable energy). We also found that a smaller $126 billion package could achieve more than half the impacts.

External link

ACEEE blog, 10 Sep 2021: Efficiency plans before congress would save money, create Jobs, protect the climate