Americans tend to beat themselves up over their imperfections. We eat too much, watch too much TV and owe China too much money. Despite all of our sloth, we can feel good about one area: our progress saving energy.

report issued this week by the Institute for Electric Efficiency found that we saved enough electricity to power almost 10 million homes in 2010 (about 112 MWh). That’s 21 percent better than we did the previous year. And it looks like when 2011 data comes out, we’ll have done even better.

You’re saying, “Who me? Not possible. I forget to shut off the lights, my computer stays on all the time and my kids won’t get off the Xbox.”

Therein lies the beauty of energy efficiency today; it requires no huge effort on our part. New appliances, light bulbs, thermostats, heating and cooling systems and electric gadgets are increasingly designed with energy efficiency in mind.  Those with an energy conscience don’t have to fumble in the dark and cold.

The report studied programs offered by utilities, which spent $4.8 billion in 2010 on energy efficiency, about 28 percent more than the previous year, and $6.8 billion in 2011, a 25 percent increase.  Utilities are expanding their energy efficiency efforts so quickly that IEE expects them to surpass optimistic forecasts that they will dedicate $12 billion annually to efficiency by 2020.

“This steady increase in electricity savings is really impressive. And the growth in electric utility expenditures for energy efficiency is the major reason behind it,” said Lisa Wood, IEE Executive director. (No relationship to me.)

Efficiency is considered a good investment because it’s cheaper to save energy then make energy. The report pegs the cost of saving energy at 3.5 to 4.3 cents/kWh. Check your utility bill – chances are buying electricity costs you a great deal more.

Our success stems from energy efficiency resource standards, which are savings requirements set by state governments. Typically, the requirements mandate that utilities save a set percentage of energy annually. About half of the states, representing two-thirds of the US’ population, now have these standards, according to IEE.

Some states and regions are doing better than others when it comes to energy efficiency. California continues to be the top state when it comes to spending on energy efficiency, with a budget of $1.5 billion, well above second place state, New York, with $1 billion. The Pacific Northwest follows with about $559 million, and then comes Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Arizona.

California’s effort is particularly impressive in light of its demographics. While its electric efficiency budget represents 22.6% of total U.S. utility electric efficiency budgets, it uses only 6.9 percent of US electricity and its share of the population is only 12.1 percent, according to IEE.

Several states that did not make the top 10 are quickly improving their programs. The IEE report found that five states have doubled their energy efficiency budgets for 2011. These states are Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia. Washington, DC also doubled its budget.

See the full IEE report here 

Views: 351

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Barry NewDelman on January 9, 2012 at 11:39am

As the states work diligently to reduce costs of our energy pool youcan do the same for yourself

http://ow.ly2JUm8

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Empower Efficiency added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

Position Opening: Local Community Outreach Specialist, Energy Efficiency (San Carlos, CA)

Local Community Outreach Specialist, Energy Efficiency (San Carlos, CA) Job Title: Local Community…See More
yesterday
Amber Vignieri posted a blog post

Elevate Energy Mythbusters: Windows & Attics Edition

This blog post is guest written by former staff member Eric Keeley.Great enthusiasm for home energy…See More
yesterday
Glen Gallo replied to Diane Chojnowski's discussion Poll: What is you favorite or most important home performance diagnostic or measurement tool?
"I agree with Ted. If I could bring just one piece of equipment it would be the blower door. It has…"
yesterday
Glen Gallo replied to Shaun 's discussion Commercial duct testing
"If above the ceiling tiles the wall is a finished assembly and there is insulation on or under the…"
yesterday
Tom White's video was featured

Combustion Appliance Zone Testing (CAZ) Made Easy (March 24, 2016)

Combustion Appliance Zone Testing (CAZ) Made Easy (March 24, 2016) -Gauge Fundamentals -Adapting to the new BPI standard -RESNET testing requirements -NFPA testing requirements -Best practices for best results
yesterday
Profile IconLaura Capps and Bret Abrams joined Home Energy Pros
Thursday
Olivia Taylor posted a blog post

5 Key Reasons Why Rooftop Solar Is Popular In The US

The rapid switch from traditional electricity to clean, economical and renewable solar energy is…See More
Thursday
Adam Swain posted a blog post

Top 5 Tips For Hiring A Crawl Space Contractor

A homes crawl space is one of the few places most homeowners try to avoid at all cost, and for good…See More
Wednesday

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service