Washington, D.C. Investments in energy efficiency in Texas can meet the state's growing electricity needs while saving businesses and households $14 billion on utility bills and creating 47,000 local jobs per year by 2030. These are the results of a study released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The study, Energy Efficiency Investments as an Economic Productivity Strategy for Texas, was commissioned by the Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) and integrated insights and data provided by Texas experts.
"Energy efficiency is easily the most affordable energy resource in Texas," said John A. "Skip" Laitner, Director of Economic and Social Analysis for ACEEE and author of the new assessment. "While a 20% to 30% efficiency gain over the next two decades may seem challenging, Texas is already finding energy efficiency resources at less than 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to the expected cost of power from new generating plants of 6 to 10 cents. The really good news for Texas is that the cost-effective efficiency investments will also drive new employment opportunities."
The study examines a set of six alternative energy efficiency scenarios that cost-effectively reduce electricity demand. The assessment suggests that an expanded set of productivity investments across the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors would not only reduce the growth in electricity demand, they would actually reduce overall electricity consumption 12% to 19% below 2010 levels by 2030. The combination of supply-side efficiency improvements, such as those made possible by combined heat and power technologies, and the expanded efficiency improvements in homes and businesses would save ratepayers a net $12 to $14 billion over the next two decades.
"We already knew that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to meet the state's growing demand for energy," said former state Sen. Kip Averitt, chairman of the TCEC, a nonpartisan alliance that seeks to speed Texas' transition to a new energy economy. "Now we have solid proof that common-sense energy efficiency would create jobs for Texas workers and produce an economic windfall for the Lone Star State."