Energy Efficiency Saves Trillions of Dollars, Promotes Jobs, Cuts Pollution

NRDC: But some draft efficiency bill provisions would reverse efficiency progress

WASHINGTON—(ENEWSPF)–April 30, 2015 – Congress should strengthen energy efficiency programs and adopt policies that would save taxpayer dollars, promote job growth, and cut pollution, not delay or weaken them, a Natural Resources Defense Council efficiency expert told lawmakers today.

Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power on draft energy efficiency legislation, NRDC efficiency advocate Elizabeth Noll expressed opposition to provisions that could reverse America’s efficiency progress.

“Every American home, building, and appliance that we make more efficient saves money and cuts pollution, and moves our nation closer to a more sustainable and prosperous future,” she said. “Smart federal policies are essential to achieving the energy efficiency progress that consumers want and that America needs in order to continue to prosper.”

Noll said NRDC opposes the draft’s Section 4124 to block the Department of Energy from finalizing a much-needed update to efficiency standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces, a move she said would especially hurt moderate and low-income families struggling to pay energy bills. She said renters, in particular, could end up paying more without an updated standard, because property owners are likely to continue to buy cheaper, less-efficient furnaces. She urged Congress to instead let the open and transparent DOE process continue.

“Federal programs like the Department of Energy’s appliance efficiency standards program, first authorized by Congress in 1987, will save Americans $1.8 trillion on their utility bills through 2030. Just last year, those standards avoided the pollution equivalent to the emissions from nearly 500 million cars,” she said.  “And we know American manufacturers will continue to innovate and rise to meet efficiency standards — while delivering the same or better performance and options.”

Noll said NRDC also opposes:

Section 4115 to block the phase-out of fossil fuels in federal buildings. The phase-out has enormous potential to reduce pollution and leverage the significant benefits of efficiency to reduce the $6 billion the government spends on energy in its buildings.

Section 4131, which would hamstring the Department of Energy from using its expertise during the process for developing model building energy codes that deliver valuable savings for homeowners and renters nationwide.

For Noll’s written testimony, click here:  http://docs.nrdc.org/legislation/files/leg_15043001a.pdf (link live by 10 a.m.)

The hearing will be livestreamed at: http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/strategic-petroleum-reserve-discussion-draft-and-title-iv-energy-efficiency#video

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Source: www.nrdc.org