White House Announces Commitments Aimed at Advancing Clean Energy Innovation, Cutting Energy Bills and Creating Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 25, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — President Obama is unveiling a set of impressive private and public sector commitments aimed at accelerating the Nation’s transition to a cleaner and more productive energy economy. The private sector commitments, combined with a robust set of executive actions, will expand opportunities to install energy saving technologies in households, while also driving the development of low-cost clean energy technologies.
Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, said, “On the heels of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which includes energy efficiency as the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions, the Administration continues to advance energy efficiency as the cornerstone to building the modern American energy economy. It is clear that the federal government and the private sector recognize that deploying energy efficiency technologies and practices is the most important and effective means to realizing the goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.”
The benefits of energy-efficient practices are wide-ranging: the development and implementation of energy-efficient products, technologies and services save consumers and businesses money, drive innovation and productivity, support a cleaner environment and enhance energy security and reliability. In fact, an economic analysis by the Rhodium Group shows that doubling energy productivity by 2030 would save $327 billion annually in avoided energy costs, create 1.3 million net new jobs, reduce imports to represent a mere 7% of overall energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions to one-third below the level emitted in 2005.
In conjunction with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Council on Competitiveness (COC), the Alliance will unveil a roadmap document on September 17 highlighting implementation pathways for achieving the goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030. This document will highlight the importance of engaging both the public and private sectors in efforts to advance energy efficiency. Today’s announcement of diverse stakeholder commitments to energy efficiency and clean energy responds to the call for widespread action across the economy. The Alliance particularly commends the following Associate members for making commitments today: Lime Energy, Opower, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the American Council for and Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
“Opower’s commitment to helping 300,000 additional low-income families save millions on their utility bills will help protect vulnerable communities from unpredictable changes in energy costs. We are proud to join this impressive group of private and public sector partners committed to providing greater access to energy-saving technologies across the U.S., and believe that such commitments will help lead America toward a clean energy future for everyone, not just for some,” said Alex Laskey, president and co-founder of Opower.
President and CEO of Lime Energy Adam Procell said, “At Lime Energy, we have already seen the immense benefits of implementing energy-efficient upgrades in low-to-moderate income communities. As a result of our work, we have seen thousands of new jobs created and more than $1 billion funneled back into local economies. These clear benefits are why we’re genuinely excited about committing to providing upgrades for at least 1,000 additional small businesses. We look forward to working closely with partners in future endeavors focused on energy efficiency.”
The Alliance is also in support of the Administration’s commitments that could lead to wider adoption of state-level property-assessed clean energy (PACE) programs. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Castro’s outreach to governors on the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA’s) role in expanding PACE will help homeowners in states where a version of PACE is available make informed decisions when buying a home and undertaking energy efficiency projects. The continued involvement of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will be critical to help eliminate remaining barriers preventing homeowners from fully realizing the benefits afforded to them by PACE-financed energy efficiency. The Alliance is enthusiastic about the inclusion of PACE in today’s announcement and stands ready to support later reforms and initiatives.
Claire Broido Johnson, President of CBJ Energy, a Maryland based PACE-originator, said, “We’ve been working to unlock private capital to fund energy efficiency improvements and renewables all over the country, across all building types. PACE is a proven policy tool that has driven nearly $1.3 billion in clean energy investments over the last five years. I strongly feel PACE is just as transformative as the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that transformed the solar market we created when I founded SunEdison. PACE has just come to the Mid-Atlantic and our efforts will be focused on helping drive the market. We are encouraged by today’s announcement and attention to this important financing mechanism.”
“It’s no surprise that private and public sector energy efficiency implementation creates enormous benefits, both for a company’s bottom line and for the greater public who gain from increased job opportunities and a cleaner environment. Working with almost 140 private sector Associate members that are committed to energy efficiency advancement, we witness every day the positive impacts that companies around the country are imparting on the economy and the environment. We see this renewed focused on clean energy and energy efficiency as a strong milestone in a journey toward a modern American energy economy that will reap enormous benefits for consumers and businesses alike.” Callahan concluded.