America has made significant investments in energy efficiency in recent decades. Since 1973, U.S. consumers and businesses have decreased their energy intensity (primary energy consumed per unit of GDP) by more than 50 percent. Although this decline is due to a variety of factors, including structural shifts in the economy from more energy‐intensive manufacturing to less energy‐ intensive services, the increased deployment of energy‐ efficient technologies has been a key driver.
Technological advances, combined with innovative approaches to encourage the adoption of cost‐effective efficiency measures, are delivering ongoing improvements in the way that we produce and consume energy. Nevertheless, smarter regulation and well‐designed policies are needed to overcome key barriers and unlock the economic, security and environmental benefits associated with improved efficiency.
BRT CEOs call on Congress and the Administration to adopt policies that:
- Focus research and development on cost‐effective technologies that have the potential to improve energy efficiency while diversifying energy sources.
- Ensure that decisions regarding tax incentives for energy efficiency are: designed to address well‐documented market inefficiencies; applied only to technologies that have a credible pathway to unsubsidized competitiveness; and finite in duration and eventually phased out in a predictable fashion.
- Ensure that state legislatures and public utility commissions consider policies that promote investment in cost‐ effective energy efficiency measures, and ensure that such investments are as profitable for utilities as generation and distribution assets.
- Expand the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Services Contracts (UESCs) in the federal government, as well as training and education for federal energy managers, policymakers and procurement/legal staff regarding the use and benefits of these contracts.
- Develop energy efficiency programs based on effective federal policy guidelines that can be cost‐effectively implemented at the state level and give states the flexibility to account for local differences in regulatory approaches.
Energy Efficiency is "Win-Win" for the Economy
“A successful energy strategy must capitalize on U.S. advantages to ensure reliable, affordable energy from a wide variety of sources while continuing to drive energy efficiency throughout the economy.”
— David M. Cote, Chairman & CEO, Honeywell International, Inc., Chair, BRT Energy & Environment Committee