When you hear energy efficiency, do you think of a broad and ambiguous term? Energy efficiency is being able to perform the same task, but using less energy to do so. It is a simple, low-cost way to reduce emissions and energy consumption while also lowering your home or building’s utility bills. Not only does it save local governments and individual households money, but it also helps to enhance air quality and curb climate change. The benefits of energy efficiency are lengthy from protecting the environment for all households and businesses to prompting energy-saving investments in our buildings and infrastructure that can sustain and create good, local jobs and strengthen our hometown economies.
On October 7, we will be celebrating the fifth annual Energy Efficiency Day. We are sharing some resources to help pitch #EEDay2020 to your local government leaders and tools local governments can use to draft and adopt an EEDay proclamation. Join the growing list of over 100 local governments, organizations, corporations and utilities that have already signed on to support and participate in this year’s EEDay!
Why Should Your Local Government Issue an EE Day Proclamation?
Investing in energy efficiency opportunities is a great way for a local government to save money on energy and water utility costs and demonstrate leadership to the community it serves. As the federal government reverses efficiency standards and fails to take action in the fight against climate change, states and cities are stepping in and taking responsibility. Local governments across the country are taking action and making commitments to clean energy and energy efficiency, and their impacts are enormous. Nevertheless, we can still do more.
An EEDay Proclamation shows your local government is committed to:
Save Money: There is nearly 90 Million MWh of untapped economic electricity efficiency in Texas (the highest potential in the country). The average US household saves almost $500 annually thanks to efficiency standards that apply to new appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and water heaters. Many cities defer maintenance and energy efficiency retrofits to their facilities to save money in the short term. However, research shows “every $1 deferred in maintenance costs $4 of capital renewal needs in the future.” Committing to energy efficiency means a local government is committed to reducing waste and using taxpayer’s money responsibly.
Cut Pollution: Energy efficiency helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with fossil fuel power plants. Buildings are responsible for roughly 40% of the nation’s energy consumption. By 2030, 87% of U.S. energy use will be in and around American cities (IEA). Cities can implement a number of actions to offset this including implementing building standards and energy codes, measure and track performance, set energy efficiency targets, and properly train city building operators and technicians. Texas cities and counties can review our blog series Actions Cities Can Take to Support Energy Efficiency in Texas.
Create Jobs: Energy efficiency employs more than any other clean energy job sector. Prior to the pandemic, roughly 2.4 million Americans worked in the energy efficiency. Currently, as we look at our nation’s unemployment numbers, this might be the most important factor. A clean energy investment of $99.2 billion can add $330 billion to our nation’s economy and create 860,000 full-time jobs for at least five years, according to a recent report, Build Back Better, Faster: How a federal stimulus focusing on clean energy can create millions of jobs and restart America’s economy, by E4TheFuture and E2.
Protect Affordability: Low-income households spend on average 10% on energy costs compared to 2% for non-low-income. Yet a study of energy burden in Harris County, Texas by the Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute (TEPRI) revealed that energy efficiency has the potential to economically save 1.8 TWh/year which can eliminate the region’s 1.7 TWh/year energy affordability gap completely.
Demonstrate Leadership: Last year, more than 40 cities, counties, states and universities issued official proclamations recognizing Energy Efficiency Day – as did the U.S. Senate. By adopting a proclamation, your local government joins their peers as a leader in supporting a clean, affordable, and prosperous future.
How Can My Local Government Adopt an EE Day Proclamation?
Now is the time for local leaders to show support for energy efficiency in our communities and statewide. We want to encourage all cities, counties, and leaders across Texas and Oklahoma to get involved this year! We are making it simple and have done the heavy lifting. The proclamation toolkit offers all the resources you need to urge mayors, governors, elected officials, even alma maters to officially recognize Energy Efficiency Day 2020 with a proclamation.
For residents, stakeholders, and anyone interested in supporting energy efficiency the email template provides all the details you need to promote EE Day to your elected official. The proclamation template is ready to use language for your city to easily adopt an official EE Day Proclamation.
With the COVID-19 pandemic putting the majority of the globe on lockdown, we have seen the powerful impact we can have as individuals and united. Emissions during stay at home orders dropped significantly, yet are expected to rise to previous levels or higher once the economy is back to normal. Energy efficiency is the cleanest, fastest and most cost-effective choice to meet America’s energy needs and cut air pollution. It saves consumers and businesses money, creates jobs, and benefits the economy.