Thursday, February 07, 2013

(BN) Energy Efficiencies May Cut $169 Bln in Business Costs

(Bloomberg ) The aggressive promotion of efficiency programs could cut $169 billion a year from the energy bills of U.S. business by 2030, according to a report whose authors include Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat.

The analysis from the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy says the U.S. could double its energy productivity -- the level of economic output divided by the energy used to achieve it. That would create thousands of jobs and save homeowners and businesses billions of dollars in annual energy costs, according to the report.

Policymakers should encourage more spending on efficiency programs through more-favorable tax treatment and other inducements, including a program, modeled after the Education Department's "Race to the Top," that offers states financial incentives for energy gains.

"Stopping energy waste will help all Americans get the most out of their hard-earned income," Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a Washington-based group that created the efficiency commission, said in a statement.

The report was prepared by a commission led by Warner and Tom King, president of National Grid US, a unit of London-based National Grid Plc. Officials from Dow Chemical Co., the Natural Resources Defense Council, Southern Co. and Citigroup Inc. also participated.

Efficiency gains could cut U.S. household energy bills by as much as $1,000 a year, in addition to the business savings. Economic growth might increase 2 percent and lower energy imports by more than $100 billion a year, according to the Alliance.

Other recommendations in the report include developing a ratings system for buildings based on how well they retain energy; encouraging companies to conserve; and providing more efficiency workforce training.

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