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Proposed House Legislation Would Reduce U.S. Energy Use 10 Percent

April 2009 - Energy Efficiency

Pending federal energy efficiency provisions could reduce U.S. energy use by 10.6 quadrillion Btu's, about 10 percent of projected U.S. energy use in 2020, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

These savings are more than triple those of 2005 energy legislation and about double those of 2007 energy legislation, and in turn will avoid about 661 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. They are more than the entire current energy use of the state of California, and are larger than the annual energy use of 49 of the 50 states, according to ACEEE.

The energy efficiency provisions are proposed in the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA), authored by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA). The bill includes a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions as well as a cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

More than half of the savings in the bill comes from the inclusion of a Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, which would require utilities to reduce electricity demand by 15 percent and natural gas demand by 10 percent by 2020. This provision alone will create 222,000 net jobs and prevent 262 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to ACEEE.

The bill also includes major savings from a number of other programs, including:
- A new Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance program, to promote comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits for residential and commercial buildings, which would save consumers an estimated $5.9 billion dollars in 2020.  
- A provision requiring states to establish goals for transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions reductions to ensure an absolute decrease in emissions after a designated year. This provision could reduce emissions by 58 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.


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