McKinsey&Company just released a report on Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy . The main conclusion of their work is the following:
Energy efficiency offers a vast, low-cost energy resource for the U.S. economy—but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it. Significant and persistant barriers will need to be addressed at multiple levels to stimulate demand for energy efficiency and manage its delivery across more than 100 million buildings and literally billions of devices. If executed at scale, a holistic approach with yield gross energy savings worth more than $1.2 trillion, well above the $520 billion needed through 2020 for upfront investment in efficiency measures (not including program costs). Such a program is estimated to reduce end-use energy consumption in 2020 by 9.1 quadrillion BTUs, roughly 23 percent of projected demand, potentially abating up to 1,1 gigatons of greenhouse gases annually.
This is hardly a surprise—energy efficiency makes sense! The financial value of energy savings more than offsets its cost. But there’s more…
I’m glad they’ve also documented what we’ve known for some time, namely that energy savings is only part of the equation.
For example, in the residential sector, energy efficiency upgrades can help reduce exposure to volatility in energy prices, reduce basement water damage, decrease food spoilage, and extend clothing life.
They go on to talk about the positive impacts on comfort and health, productivity, and standards of living. We already know this to be true—it’s what our clients tell us every day!