The Skywriter

New report: on climate, less is more


New report: on climate, less is more


By 1Sky policy intern Rhiya Trivedi. -- Luis

Energy efficiency has long been touted as the core climate and energy solution. It has been called limitless, astoundingly cheap, and the answer to all of our climate woes -- and according to McKinsey’s most recent report, it is even more limitless, cheap and redeeming than we previously could have imagined.

Released today, the report found that non-transportation energy consumption in the United States could be reduced by roughly 23% by 2020, saving more than $1.2 trillion in waste, and spurred by only $520 billion in upfront investment. To put that in context, energy savings could be greater than Canada’s current annual non-transportation energy consumption. Admittedly, Canada may not have too many people compared to the U.S., but as a country with some of the world’s highest energy consumption per capita, that’s no small amount of savings.

With greater coordination between utilities, manufacturers, and the government, transparent and consistent funding, and a diverse portfolio of sources of energy savings, McKinsey paints a promising picture of a more energy efficient America. They reinforce efficiency not only as a core solution that will generate immediate and up front returns on investment, but a transition solution that will create a greater window for the development of more reliable and economical no- and low-carbon technologies. The crucial piece to the puzzle, however: political commitment to bringing efficiency to every dimension of residential, industrial and commercial America.

This fall, the U.S. Senate will have an opportunity to make this exact commitment. As senators craft joint energy and climate legislation, efficiency could play a large role in reminding key swings from energy-reliant states that less is more. Less energy means more jobs; more savings; more climate action.

But they need to hear this message from more than just the folks at McKinsey. Make the case for scaling up efficiency in a new climate bill with your senators when they go on recess on August 8. Throw a beach party and remind them how important efficiency is to keeping the temperature down and your energy bill low!

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