House Hearing Examines Role of Efficiency Policies in Climate Legislation

Washington, DC (May 8, 2008)- The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing entitled “Negawatts: The Role of Efficiency Policies in Climate Legislation.” It examined the potential role of complementary efficiency policies, particularly for the electric power sector, in promoting low-cost emission reductions under a federal greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system. The five witnesses stressed the importance and need for the Federal government to bring all states together and to include energy efficiency in any carbon program that is adopted.

Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA) said, “Many efficiency improvements can already be achieved today at a profit, but are not being implemented because of market barriers… Focused policies must be used to reward efficiency… It will be critical to include policies that support efficiency.”
George Sakellaris, president and chief executive officer of Ameresco, said, “The United States is presently using approximately 47 million barrels of oil equivalent per day or 17 billion barrels of oil per year… we as a nation can save at least 20 percent to 30 percent of our usage… at a cost of $100 per barrel, the resulting savings are $340 billion per year. When we achieve these energy savings, we will reduce GHG emissions from the current baseline of 5,890 million metric tons per year and should approach 20 percent [of that] or 1,178 million metric tons per year… We recommend that at least 50 percent of the proceeds [from the auction] be dedicated to energy efficiency investments.”
Related Resources:
House Hearing Examines Role of Efficiency Policies in Climate Legislation
Energy Conservation through Trees Act