The Negawatt Revolution: the U.S. is beginning to take energy efficiency seriously

Amid all the bad climate news (of which there’s plenty!), here’s an article with some good news. Excerpt:

Barack Obama’s first term was a bit of a quiet revolution for climate change policy in America…. a massive shift in energy and climate change policy that Obama was able to accomplish with relatively little fanfare in just his first few months in office. This profound change came in the form of the stimulus bill.

More than 13 percent of the $700 billion American Recovery Act went to energy spending, most of it green. Of the $97 billion spent on renewables, smart-grid infrastructure, fuel efficient vehicles, and the like, the largest portion—$32 billion—went to energy efficiency and retrofitting projects. This was the biggest such investment in history.

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One Response to The Negawatt Revolution: the U.S. is beginning to take energy efficiency seriously

  1. Mary Manous says:

    Great article! Interesting how Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute and Reinvention of Fire was behind the concept of Negawatt as a measurement of energy saved rather than used. The concept of decoupling* gas and electric utilities rate structure from the amount of energy used is powerful. The reference link to the Alliance to Save Energy Fact Sheet indicates that as of 2011, Washington State had decoupled gas but not electricity. Does anyone know the current status of how electricity PUD’s rates are set here? This could be a place to put some pressure on!

    *”Decoupling refers to policies designed to “decouple” utility profits from total electric or gas sales so utilities do not have an incentive to try to sell more energy.”


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