Washington, DC — In a long-awaited report issued Tuesday, the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis includes a set of robust policies to reduce energy waste as part of a wide-ranging blueprint for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
“This report recognizes the critical role of energy efficiency in meeting the climate crisis while strengthening the economy,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). “In order to slash carbon emissions, we need to put people to work on cutting energy waste in homes and commercial buildings, decarbonizing industry, and creating a low carbon transportation system. The committee has done tremendous work identifying many of the key solutions; the challenge now is getting them done.”
The committee recommends a strong set of policies, including measures aiming to:
- Shift industry to become climate-neutral by mid-century through a suite of actions to support the transition of a complex sector with energy efficiency being a leading strategy, including policies to ensure the competitiveness of the sector while supporting good jobs in communities with the greatest needs;
- Transform the transportation sector, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of electric vehicles through a national Zero Emission Vehicle target and a call for states and metropolitan planning organizations to set ambitious goals for transportation-related carbon emissions;
- Reduce energy waste in buildings, including through provisions to accelerate retrofits of existing homes and multifamily buildings, with special attention to those inhabited by low and moderate income families; promote highly efficient zero energy new homes and buildings; and promote deep energy-saving retrofits of buildings that are undergoing other substantial renovation;
- Establish nationwide savings targets for utility energy efficiency programs that are based on maximum achievable levels and that account for the greenhouse gas pollution reduction benefits of efficiency. In addition, establish a federal price on greenhouse gas emissions.
ACEEE submitted extensive recommendations to the committee in November in response to its request for information and has worked with the committee in its consultation with stakeholders. ACEEE research last year found that energy efficiency improvements alone can cut greenhouse gas emissions in the United State by 50% by 2050.