We all need energy and there is a strong growing movement to convert our nation to 100 percent clean energy. It is not possible to meet the 100 % clean energy goals without implementing energy efficiency (EE) broadly across our state and our nation!
Climate change is real, yet our leaders seem paralyzed. We don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, or give up hope on our work to lower our dependence on fossil fuel.
Yes, even if your friends and family have gone to the dark side and no longer believe in Facts; you can have a safe conversation about energy efficiency. Unlike energy or climate modeling, efficiency has been proven to have amazing positive impacts on everything from our economy to our environment. Efficiency is one of the things that we can all agree upon and support.
Here are some facts when discussing energy policy in a non confrontational, nonpartisan way:
EE increases local jobs, and generates local & federal taxes.
EE lowers energy costs and energy waste.
Lowering our energy waste also lowers the impacts of burning fossil fuel, as well as protect our health and the environment.
EE lowers pollution caused by burning fossil fuel as it strengthens our energy grid.
EE avoids the need to build new energy plants which cost us money, providing even deeper savings for our residents and state.
In fact, if we implement enough efficiency, in time we can actually reach our 100% percent clean energy goals, all while relying on EE’s proven ability to reduce energy waste and the negative effects of burning fossil fuels.
I’m all for clean cars and community solar. However, they are expensive and some people don’t even own cars. Buying an electric car won’t reduce carbon pollution unless you power it with clean energy.
There is much more pollution created by heating and cooling our homes and buildings than there is from transportation. We can immediately reduce this energy generated pollution through proven simple low cost technologies such as cellulose insulation, air sealing those leaky old homes, installing efficiency lighting & timers, efficiency-based heating and cooling systems, better windows, and power strips.
For example, my team worked on a project where we installed LED lights, insulation and windows in 13 New England homes. We then tracked the energy bills for three years. We reduced the energy waste by approximately 30 percent in each home. Yes, 30 percent annual savings on heat and electric use. That’s 30 percent less pollution from each home. They also are more comfortable homes, safer, and are realizing the financial benefits of not wasting energy.
It is important to look at the facts on Efficiency Efficiency and building science. I am all for aiming for the stars, but we must also pick the low hanging fruit and be sustainable while we aim higher for the 100 percent clean energy goals.
No matter our political party, we can all get behind EE.