Blog Post

New Year’s Countdown: Our Top 10 Blog Posts of 2019

December 10, 2019

As the holidays approach and this year comes to a close, we want to share 2019 highlights for ACEEE and energy efficiency. We released our popular state and city scorecards, spotlighted exemplary US efficiency programs, and ranked the greenest (and meanest) vehicles. Our Halfway There report showed how energy efficiency can halve US energy use by 2050 and get us halfway to our climate goals.

In addition, we celebrated the fourth annual Energy Efficiency Day, connected professionals at conferences including our inaugural forum on connected and autonomous vehicles, and promoted energy-saving policies at the local, state, and national level.

Next year, as political candidates, governments, and companies increasingly focus on climate change, energy efficiency will be more important than ever. To help you prepare, we revisit our 10 most-read blog posts of 2019.

10. How do efficiency programs serve low-income communities? New study takes a look by Ariel Drehobl

A growing number of energy efficiency program implementers across the United States serve nonresidential organizations in low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities, which stand to benefit most from efficiency investments, according to a ACEEE study that examines 39 programs.

9. Breaking barriers: women in energy efficiency tell their stories by Wendy Koch

Women account for only one-fourth of energy efficiency workers. To explore their experiences in this field, we asked the leader of an environmental organization and two Summer Study panel co-chairs to tell their stories. They spoke candidly, sharing both their inspiration and advice.

8. Deep retrofits: Financing needs to play a critical role by Steven Nadel

Deep retrofits to existing buildings will be critical for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years. But such retrofits can be expensive, so financing is vital for unlocking energy savings. Several recent projects illustrate innovative ways to finance these retrofits.

7. Here are the ways we have slashed US energy use by a fifth by Steven Nadel

Major energy efficiency policies slashed US energy use by about 20% in 2017, saving a whopping 25 quads of energy —the amount used in California, Texas, and Florida combined. Two US policies now at risk accounted for the majority of these savings.

6. DOE refuses public hearing on a proposal that could gut US appliance standards by Andrew deLaski

The Department of Energy has quietly issued a proposal that could seriously undermine US energy efficiency standards for many appliances and products. It proposed a rule that would allow individual manufacturers to secretly opt out of testing requirements.

5. From construction to retrofits, PACE financing is saving serious energy by Annie Gilleo

Property assessed clean energy (PACE), a popular, long-term financing tool for energy and water conservation projects, has grown quickly in recent years across the United States.

4. What’s next after lighting? Regional Leaders offer diverse responses by Rachel Gold

As federal standards for lighting improve, many utilities and program administrators are looking at their energy efficiency portfolios and wondering “what’s next”? At our recent Energy Efficiency as a Resource conference in Minneapolis, we put that question to leaders from each of the regional energy efficiency organizations or REEOs.

3. Electrification and efficiency: crafting an enduring relationship, by Maggie Molina

As more states and cities set aggressive policies toward a carbon-free future, the energy industry is abuzz with the concept of electrification. What does this have to do with energy efficiency? A lot!

2. For existing homes, energy efficiency often has a better return on investment than solar, by Steven Nadel

Looking for an investment with a high, secure return on investment? A light energy efficiency retrofit of a typical existing home can reduce home energy use about 10% and deliver a whopping 18.5% return annually, nearly double that of long-term stocks. A medium efficiency retrofit saves more energy (29%), but because of its higher cost, has a lower return. Its return is similar to that of solar with net metering at a fixed rate.

1. Energy service agreements: Potential big kid in town? by Steven Nadel

Energy service agreements (ESAs), a type of financing, are growing in popularity. Under an ESA, a service provider delivers energy-saving services using equipment it owns and operates.

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