The Alliance to Save Energy’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy released a report calling for a doubling of U.S. energy productivity by 2030 using cost-effective technologies and common sense approaches. The reports outlines the possibility of more than $1,000 per year in net household savings, over a million net jobs added, a one-third reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and a similar reduction in oil and gas imports. However, to achieve the Commission’s goal of doubling energy productivity we must focus our attention to all the energy used in the economy – also referred to as “primary energy.” With this focus we can unleash the power of our domestically abundant energy resources and technologies.
Natural gas will be a strong partner in achieving the goal set out by the commission. This bold objective will undoubtedly have significant positive impacts on our economy and national security. Of the energy options available, natural gas is one of the most energy efficient due to the way in which it is produced, delivered and used in homes, buildings, industry and transportation. Highly efficient natural gas applications for space heating and water heating units and combined heat and power (CHP) technologies are available today and can deliver immediate energy productivity gains for homeowners and manufacturers alike.
Expanded use of natural gas in these and other distributed energy applications will spur further innovation and deliver even greater contributions to the nation’s energy productivity over the long haul. Decreasing total energy consumption and cost of energy through optimizing the use of efficient natural gas in our nation’s industrial base will also help improve the position of the companies that compete in a global market – thus boosting the other side of the energy productivity equation.
Natural gas utilities are committed to investing in energy efficiency and to delivering savings to consumers through programs that actively promote cost-effective approaches to energy efficiency. Utilities increased their investment in natural gas efficiency programs to nearly $958 million in 2011 which resulted in total savings of more than $300 million for natural gas customers in the United States last year – about $107 per household – and offset 6.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This is according to the Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Report for 2011 which presents data from the American Gas Association (AGA) member companies and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.
These reports join the growing chorus recognizing the key role natural gas will play in our clean energy future. Recently, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy released its Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook which highlights the partnership between natural gas and other renewable sources of energy. AGA’s President and CEO Dave McCurdy and Senior Vice President, Policy and Planning Paula Gant participated in the launch of that publication alongside other business leaders.
America’s natural gas utilities are delivering the promises of natural gas while promoting energy efficiency and working alongside other clean and renewable energy sources. We look forward to being part of the many collaborative efforts required to realize the vision of a robust, secure and efficient energy future for our nation.
The Alliance is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy and national security. Dave McCurdy is a member of the Board of Directors.
The bipartisan Commission is comprised of 20 energy experts, including chairs Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and National Grid President Tom King. The Commission also boasts four international and seven technical advisors including Paula Gant.