Texans Could Save Billions Through Efficiency

Jamie Fine is an economist with EDF who recently completed a study about the costs and benefits of energy efficiency investments in Texas. Read the summary.

Old wisdom says don’t spend a dollar to save a dime. Even better? Spending dimes to save dollars. There’s a real opportunity in Texas for every home and business to spend dimes on energy efficiency to save dollars and to combat climate change at the same time.

I recently helped develop a computer model that tells us how much money Texas residents and businesses can save through energy efficiency, and the results were impressive.

With just a handful of simple efficiency investments, Texans could save more than $15 billion by 2030 – this is $760 per year for an average household and $11,000 per year for an average commercial building.

But implementing energy efficiency measures provides more than cash in the pockets of hard-pressed households and small businesses, it fights climate change too.   If these same measures are used broadly throughout Texas on existing and new buildings between 2010 and 2030, they will avoid over 760 million metric tons of global warming pollution from the electricity sector.

So what’s the next step?

Unfortunately, Texas had a disappointing legislative session for energy efficiency, but there are still several promising opportunities.

For example, the State Energy Conservation Office is receiving more than $250 million in federal stimulus funds for efficiency initiatives, while simultaneously moving forward with rulemaking to increase building code efficiency benchmarks.

Additionally, the Public Utility Commission, through Texas’ Sunset laws, will have the opportunity to work with utilities to make utility efficiency standards more robust and effective.

The momentum generated prior to the next Legislative session in Austin has the potential to yield real opportunities – economically and environmentally – for all Texans.

Download a full copy of the report.

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