The Power of Efficiency: Opportunities to Save Money, Reduce Pollution and Expand the Economy in the Midwest

Sunday, March 23, 2008

From a press release issued by WISPIRG:

Madison, WI—Aggressive energy saving policies would provide for ongoing economic stimulus, saving consumers money, creating jobs and driving Wisconsin’s economy, according to a new report released today by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG).

The reportThe Power of Efficiency: Opportunities to Save Money, Reduce Pollution, and Expand the Economy in the Midwest – details how existing energy efficiency technologies, practices, and policies would stimulate our economy through saving Wisconsin families hundreds of dollars off rising utility bills, while also reducing harmful air and global warming pollutants. . . .

The report outlines efficiency opportunities in three Midwestern states—Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. Detailed in the report are vast opportunities for increased efficiency in residential, commercial and industrial construction, retrofits of existing heating, cooling and lighting systems, and replacing inefficient appliances. For example:

• Simply requiring all new residential furnaces to be 20% more efficient in Wisconsin would, by 2020, save 500 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 2.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually—enough to supply more than 33,000 homes;

• Retrofitting lighting systems in commercial buildings and institutions to reduce electricity use for lighting by 40 percent could save 3,600 gigawatt-hours of electricity every year in Wisconsin, or about 5 percent of current statewide electricity consumption;

• Saving energy leads to lower energy prices. For example, if Midwestern states reduced natural gas consumption by 1 percent per year for five years through energy efficiency, wholesale natural gas prices would decline by as much as 13%.