California’s 40 Years Of Energy Efficiency Efforts Have Saved $90 Billion In Utility Costs
Clean Technica, August 25, 2015
Over the last 40 years, the state of California has been investing in energy efficiency initiatives, to the tune of about $1 billion per year, and these efforts have saved its residents some $90 billion in utility costs, created “hundreds of thousands” of energy efficiency jobs, and by the end of the decade will have avoided the pollution equivalent of 41 power plants, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
According to the updated report, Californians have household electric bills that are some $20 less per month than the national average, which can be attributed to energy saving programs, building codes, and higher standards for appliances. The per capita electricity use in California has also remained flat, according to NRDC, when compared to the increases in other parts of the country (which are up about 50% since the 1970s) thanks to these initiatives, and the state’s energy efficiency commitments have “reduced the overall electricity needed to serve customers by nearly one-fifth.”
NRDC’s Lara Ettenson points out that the state is on track, even ahead of schedule, to meet California’s pollution reduction target for 2020, by saving the equivalent of some 32,000 GWh thanks to energy efficiency measures. She also connects the dots between efficiency and job creation, stating that more than 300,000 jobs (amounting to nearly 70% of the state’s clean energy jobs) “are related to improving energy efficiency in buildings, alone” and that freeing up residents’ money through efficiency “leads to even more jobs and economic opportunities” because that money can be spent elsewhere in the local economy.