New Study: 38,000 New Jobs, $6.3 Billion in Consumer Savings if Virginia Pushes Energy Efficiency

Monday, April 12, 2010

A bit earlier today, an important new study by Duke University and the Georgia Institute of Technology was released. The report is entitled, Southeast Energy Efficiency Study: Energy Efficiency in the South, and it confirms what I've been saying for years now: energy efficiency is by far and away the "lowest hanging fruit" of any energy source.  To put it another way, energy efficiency gives us the biggest energy bang for the buck, far more than nuclear power (one of the worst in terms of "bang for the buck") or "clean coal" (highly speculative and extremely expensive), for example. How much "bang for the buck" we can get from energy efficiency is made clear in this report, including the section specifically on Virginia.*"The policies analyzed in the report offer the potential to reduce Virginia's total energy consumption in all three sectors by approximately 7% in 2020 and 12% in 2030."
*"This avoided consumption is equivalent to about 5 power plants in 2020."
*"Efficiency policies in Virginia will create jobs, spur significant economic growth and save consumers and businesses billions of dollars" ("38,000 jobs in Virginia in 2030", "Save more than $3.5 billion in 2020 and $6.3 billion in 2030").
*"These savings amount to the equivalent of the energy required by about 4,600 Wal-Mart stores and roughly $80,000 in annual energy savings per business in 2020."
*"These savings amount to the equivalent of the energy required by about 320,000 Virginian households and about $325 in annual energy savings per household in 2020."
To put it another way, as David Roberts of Grist points out, "for every dollar the South invests in energy efficiency, it will receive an average of $2.25 in benefits over the next 20 years in jobs, economic growth, and lower bills."