In the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) “Energy Efficiency Impact Report,” the organization states energy efficiency is a diverse and immensely powerful toolkit that has saved hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs while preventing sharp increases in greenhouse gas emissions, but progress is at risk of stalling.
The report provides an analysis of the impacts of energy efficiency investments, policies, and innovation and the potential energy savings ahead across a variety of sectors including residential and commercial buildings, industry, and transportation. The report quantifies the scale of U.S. efficiency investments made over decades and their impacts, ranging from energy savings, job growth and reduced carbon emissions, to public health and worker productivity savings.
These investments since 1980 prevented a 60% increase in energy consumption and carbon emissions and are responsible for half of the carbon dioxide emissions reductions in the U.S. power sector since 2005. The report also highlights six impactful policies: fuel economy standards, appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards, ENERGY STAR, utility sector efficiency programs, federal research and development, and building energy codes, which have saved an estimated 25 quadrillion BTUs of energy in 2017, equal to 23% of total U.S. energy use.
Energy efficiency improvements could deliver more than 40% of the carbon reductions globally to meet Paris Agreement climate targets, and fully half of emissions reductions needed in the U.S. But the U.S. is not on this track to achieve these reductions, and even risks sliding backward, the report stated.For more information, visit energyefficiencyimpact.org.