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Energy Efficiency Measures Could Save The U.S. $1.2 Trillion

By Jeff Siegel   

Looking for a way to save a few bucks on your electricity bill? How about deploying a few energy efficiency measures? I know, it's not rocket science. But a recent report released by McKinsey & Company identified a pretty hefty cost savings associated with energy efficiency that's sure to get some attention.

According to the report, "Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy," researchers found that by 2020, the United States could reduce its annual energy consumption by 23 percent, simply by deploying an array of efficiency measures that would ultimately deliver energy and operational savings of about $1.2 trillion in present value. Yeah, that's trillion - with a "T."

But here's the best part. . .

The report explains that unlocking this value would require an initial upfront investment of about $520 billion - or about $52 billion a year for ten years. Not a bad return on investment at all!

Of course, that's still a lot of money we're talking about here. But every watt we save via efficiency measures is a watt that we don't have to generate to begin with. This is a much better proposition than building more power plants. Especially power plants that rely on dirty, non-renewable resources.

Coal-fired power plants especially - which contribute 40 percent of our domestic CO2 emissions, require an estimated 70 to 260 million gallons of water a day, and remains to be the largest source of human-generated mercury pollution.

In response to the report, USGBC President, Rick Fedrizzi said...

"Green building can stimulate the economy at a level one and a half times larger than the federal stimulus bill. In terms of climate change, a commitment to energy efficiency would be the equivalent to taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger cars and light trucks — more than 200 million vehicles — off the road."

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