SMACNA, Others, Urge DOE Support of Energy Efficiency
In a recent letter to Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, SMACNA joined 40 other groups in expressing their appreciation of the Secretary's strong support for energy efficiency voiced during his confirmation hearings and to encourage the continued the bipartisan tradition of driving energy efficiency gains across our economy through the essential energy efficiency programs conducted by the Department of Energy (DOE).
Energy efficiency is an integral part of the American economy, security, and future. Gains made since 1973 have cut energy waste dramatically to fuel the U.S. economy more productively, and in so doing American businesses and consumers are saving nearly a $1 trillion annually in avoided energy costs. And with these gains, good paying jobs have been created and sustained. Currently, 2.2 million workers across construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and professional and business service industries are employed, in whole or in part, in the energy efficiency sector.
Because energy efficiency is a win-win-win in terms of energy savings, economic development, and environmental stewardship, it has enjoyed longstanding support from Republican and Democratic presidents alike. The DOE has been the primary implementer of the important national energy efficiency policies, programs, and investments that delivering tremendous value to the American people.
Notwithstanding reports of cuts to the critical energy efficiency work underway through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), SMACNA and the groups are hopeful that Secretary Perry and the team he is installing will agree that EERE’s work is critical to advancing DOE’s mission “to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”
The importance of DOE’s leadership in research, technical assistance, and market integration efforts that have driven gains in energy efficiency cannot be overstated. Third-party evaluations have assessed one-third of EERE’s research and development portfolio, and found that taxpayer April 7, 2017 Re: Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Importance of U.S. Department of Energy Leadership 2 of 3 investments of $12 billion over a period of many years has already yielded an estimated net economic benefit to the U.S. of more than $230 billion, with an overall annual return on investment of more than 20 percent.
Today, a typical American household saves about $500 each year on its energy bills as a result of more efficient appliances supported by DOE’s energy efficiency programs. The important and productive partnership between states and DOE relies on continued and expanded existing energy grant programs like those that have helped over seven million low-income families across the entire country reduce their energy bills. Model building energy codes adopted by states and local governments, with critical support from DOE, will have saved homeowners and businesses $126 billion by 2040.
Furthermore, the collaboration between government and industry to advance energy efficiency has been remarkably successful, leading to technological breakthroughs and market innovations across the economy. For example, public-private collaboration has transformed the lighting industry. Today, the U.S. is at the center of the LED lighting revolution, which has enabled a staggering 94 percent reduction in cost since 2008. The lighting industry is one case study of many that illustrate this point.
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