The United States hopes to increase energy efficiency. Governors are implementing policies and changes to advance efficiency at the state level. Therefore, the National Governors Association has banded together to produce, An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors. The purpose of this booklet is to describe how the states plan to lower and defer the need for new power plants and infrastructure, strengthen existing systems, reduce energy costs, and reduce state energy expenditures. At the same time, states will prioritize to continue to promote economic development while reducing environmental impact.
Recently, states have taken various actions to move their energy policies toward the common goal of energy savings. These states implemented new rules and standards to advance energy efficiency of buildings and appliances as one of the first steps toward this goal.
Thirty-nine states are developing state energy plans. These plans examine the state’s current energy needs, determine best practices and prioritize those best practices, and explore the implementation of various policy options. They hope by improving energy efficiency rules and standards they will positively affect the economic growth of their state.
States are also stepping up the incentives offered to utilities. Using energy efficiently for homes, businesses, and industries sometimes requires energy utilities to invest in infrastructure. These infrastructure investments are more attractive to the utilities if enough economic justification exists.
The various states have also encouraged energy saving by encouraging private sector investment. They have done this by promoting and sometimes providing the platform for low-cost, low-risk investments.
Information technology has become increasingly vital to efficient energy delivery and infrastructure. Utilities have recognized this fact, but states are now promoting more sophisticated, timely data gathering. Information technology used this way benefits not only the efficient use of energy, but benefits the business as well.
States have increased the support to universities energy research and development programs. Support of private sector efforts has also increased. The future of how efficiently states use energy is determined by new technology and deeper energy studies; therefore, encouraging these efforts is of paramount importance.
One of the main goals of the new state initiatives is to help consumers lower their energy costs. All of these policy changes, utility policies and initiatives, and technological advances will pass savings on to the consumer. The theory is that the consumer will then spend the savings in other areas, thus promoting economic growth.
Helping to increase the efficient use of energy will help states in many other diverse ways. Cost saving and reliability is one benefit. Lowering demand helps because new infrastructure is more expensive than efficient use of existing grids and networks. A lessening of emissions from fossil fuel generators is another positive effect; a reduction in water usage for cooling is a side benefit. Job opportunities, further economic development, and lessening consumer costs are other favorable effects.
The decision to advance the energy efficiency is a win-win situation for the states. The information provided in this article is located at https://www.nga.org/.