When you hear energy efficiency, what do you think of? A broad and ambiguous term? Energy efficiency is being able to perform the same task, but using less energy to do so. It is a simple, low-cost way to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption while also lowering your home or building’s utility bills. Not only does it save money, but it also helps to enhance air quality and curb climate change. The many benefits of energy efficiency range from protecting the environment to prompting energy-saving investments in our buildings and infrastructure that can sustain and create good, local jobs and strengthen our hometown economies.
On October 7, help us celebrate the fifth annual Energy Efficiency Day! You’ll find resources to help pitch #EEDay2020 to your elected officials on our website, and also tools that they can use to draft and adopt an Energy Efficiency (EE) Day proclamation to highlight and promote the benefits of smarter energy use.
Why Should Your Local Government Issue an EE Day Proclamation?
Investing in energy efficiency opportunities is a great way for a local government to save money on energy and water utility costs and demonstrate leadership to the community it serves. As the federal government stalls and reverses efficiency standards and fails to take action in the fight against climate change, states and cities are stepping up. Local governments across the country are making commitments to clean energy and energy efficiency, and their impacts are enormous. Nevertheless, we need to do more.
An EE Day Proclamation shows your local government—whether municipal, county, or state–is committed to:
Save Money: The average U.S. household saves almost $500 annually thanks to current efficiency standards that apply to new appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and water heaters. Many municipalities defer maintenance and energy efficiency retrofits to their facilities to save money in the short term. However, research shows “every $1 deferred in maintenance costs $4 of capital renewal needs in the future.” Committing to energy efficiency means a local government is committed to reducing waste and using taxpayer money responsibly.
Cut Pollution: Energy efficiency helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with fossil fuel power plants. Buildings are responsible for roughly 40% of the nation’s energy consumption. By 2030, 87% of U.S. energy use will be in and around America’s cities (source: IEA). Cities can implement actions to offset this, including:
- implementing building standards and energy codes
- measuring and tracking energy performance
- setting energy efficiency targets, and
- properly training city building operators and technicians
Create Jobs: Energy efficiency employs more workers than any other clean energy job sector. Prior to the pandemic, it employed roughly 2.4 million Americans . As we look at our nation’s current unemployment numbers, this might be the most important factor. A clean energy investment of $99.2 billion can add $330 billion to our nation’s economy and create 860,000 full-time jobs for at least five years, according to a recent report, Build Back Better, Faster: How a federal stimulus focusing on clean energy can create millions of jobs and restart America’s economy, by E4TheFuture and E2.
Protect Affordability: Low-income households spend three times more of their income on energy costs than non-low-income households, according to a new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The report also finds that Black, Hispanic, and Native American households spend a much larger share of their income on energy than white (non-Hispanic) households. Yet it finds that home weatherization can reduce the energy burdens of low-income households by about 25%.
Demonstrate Leadership: More than 40 cities, counties, states, and universities issued 2019 proclamations recognizing Energy Efficiency Day – as did the U.S. Senate. By adopting a proclamation, your local government shows leadership in supporting a clean, affordable, and prosperous future. And sharing that news with local residents and the news media, can further amplify efficiency’s benefits.
How Can My Local Government Adopt an EE Day Proclamation?
Now is the time for local leaders to show support for energy efficiency in our communities and statewide. All cities, counties, and leaders across the country can get involved this year! The Energy Efficiency Day proclamation toolkit offers all the resources you need to urge elected officials to officially recognize Energy Efficiency Day 2020 with a proclamation.
For residents, stakeholders, and anyone interested in supporting energy efficiency, this email template provides all the details you need to promote Energy Efficiency Day to your elected official. The proclamation template is ready to use language for your city to easily adopt an official proclamation.
When the pandemic put most of the world on lockdown, we saw the powerful impact of people changing their energy use. Energy efficiency is the cleanest, fastest, and most cost-effective choice to meet America’s energy needs and cut air pollution. It saves consumers, businesses, and local governments significant amounts of money, creates jobs, and boosts the economy. We can all benefit from energy efficiency.