# Saving Money

Iowa Residents, Businesses Can Save $690 Million Through Greater Energy Efficiency

(Sounds like a win-win-win-win to me. - promoted by desmoinesdem)


CONTACT:Peter Gray 312-795-3715                                                          

Iowa Contact: Andrew Snow 515-244-3931

March 18, 2009

Study Finds Iowa Residents, Businesses Can Save $690 Million Through Greater Energy Efficiency

Environmental Law and Policy Center Joins Partnership in National Coalition Advocating for Federal Energy Efficiency Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Iowa residents and businesses could save over $690 million on their utility bills if utility companies cut demand for electricity by 15 percent and natural gas by 10 percent by 2020, according to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The new national and state-by-state analysis of energy efficiency benefits was made public as more than 60 business leaders, industry groups and environmental advocates, including The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) launched the Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America, a coalition calling on Congress to enact a national target for energy efficiency (www.energyefficiencyworks.org).

“Making homes and businesses more energy-efficient will create jobs, save Iowa residents money on their utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the bottom line for Iowa businesses,” said ELPC Policy Advocate Andrew Snow. “That’s why we’re proud to join business and environmental groups in urging Congress to enact a federal energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) that will help us achieve these crucial goals.”

The ACEEE report found that in addition to generating utility bill savings, passage of a federal EERS could create 1,000 jobs in construction, manufacturing, and other fields in Iowa and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change by 2.9 million metric tons. The measure would also eliminate the need to build more power plants in Iowa and prevent environmental risks associated with traditional power generation.

A national EERS would set a target for gas and electric utilities to meet, but allow states flexibility on how to achieve the targets through rebates and financial incentives for energy efficiency home improvements, use of energy-efficient lighting and appliances, combined heating/cooling systems and other measures.  Nineteen states have established a state EERS.

The Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America supports a national EERS that would require utilities to reduce electricity usage by 15 and natural gas usage by 10 percent by 2020. This proposal for a federal EERS is included in House and Senate versions of the Save American Energy Act (H.R. 889 and S. 548), introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA-7) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), respectively.  

ACEEE’s economic analysis reveals that by 2020, the proposed federal EERS could save American consumers $168.6 billion, create 222,000 jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 262 million metric tons – the equivalent of removing 48 million cars from the road – and eliminate the need to build 390 power plants. Laying the Foundation for Implementing a Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard is available at www.aceee.org/pubs/e091.htm.


The Environmental Law and Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. www.elpc.org

Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America is a coalition of more than 60 leading businesses, industry groups and environmental organizations advocating for a national energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) to help the nation maximize energy efficiency – the fastest, cheapest, cleanest way to meet our growing energy needs while creating jobs, saving consumers money, boosting American competitiveness and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, visit our Web site at www.EnergyEfficiencyWorks.org.

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A few good links on saving energy this winter

This weekend the first big snowfall of the season is hitting central Iowa. Most people’s utility bills go way up in the winter because of heating costs and the need to turn on the lights earlier when it starts getting dark before dinnertime. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to reduce your energy consumption, even in the winter.

Bleeding Heartland user Pistachio posted a link to the “Energy Savers Home Page” managed by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program of the U.S. Department of Energy. There are tons of good ideas on that site, as well as a link to the Energy Savers Blog.

Many non-profit organizations also have web pages with information on saving energy. Here’s one from the Sierra Club. This page on the Iowa Renewable Energy Association’s website has several links under “read more” on the right side of the page.

A couple of weeks ago Daily Kos user chloris creator posted this piece on Energy Conservation Tips for Keeping Warm. Lots of people shared their favorite suggestions in the thread underneath that diary, so I recommend that you read the comments too.

If you’re one of those people who finds it hard to turn the thermostat down during the cold months, wear layers and slippers at home, and get one of those thermostats you can program to turn up the heat an hour before you wake up or just before you get home from work. You will notice a big difference on your utility bills if you keep the thermostat below 65 during the winter.

UPDATE: Thanks to corncam for reminding me that Iowa Interfaith Power and Light also has good resources on energy efficiency on their website.