Why Invest in Energy Efficiency

We now have numbers that show what we’ve been thinking – energy efficiency is an investment that delivers a huge return. Last week the Acadia Center released Energy Efficiency: Engine of Economic Growth in Canada which was commissioned by Natural Resources Canada.

Don’t treat natural gas addiction with new pipelines

Massachusetts and New England are dangerously addicted to natural gas. We got addicted because gas burns cleaner than oil and coal and is cheap most of the year. But our need for gas is becoming increasingly problematic as competition for limited supplies on cold days causes energy prices to spike. And the problem is getting worse. National Grid and NSTAR – the Commonwealth’s largest utilities – are increasing Massachusetts electric prices by 37 percent and 29 percent, respectively, to account for higher prices from gas-fired power plants in winter months.

Energy Efficiency Engine of Economic Growth for Canada

Acadia Center Releases Comprehensive Report – “Energy Efficiency: Engine of Economic Growth in Canada”

Detailed nation-wide modeling shows impressive economic growth and job creation potential from clean energy resource

Ottawa, ON November 18, 2014 – With the release of Acadia Center’s (formerly ENE)  latest report – Energy Efficiency: Engine of Economic Growth in Canada – policymakers and the public now have access to detailed analysis regarding the macroeconomic impacts of energy efficiency programs across Canada.
The release comes the day before the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) hosts Energy Efficiency Matters on the Hill; a day-long series of meetings between Members of Parliament, senior federal bureaucrats, and CEEA members.  The results of the “Engine Report” will be a key part of the discussion.
Other assessments of energy efficiency programs show large direct savings to consumers and growth in energy service jobs.  By looking at the broader, macroeconomic impacts of those savings, Acadia Center’s modeling study shows that the energy savings generated by efficiency programs frees up money for new spending (in the residential sector) and promotes increased competitiveness and output among businesses and industry.  This translates into significant economic growth and job creation potential.  Findings at the national level for a range of investment scenarios include:

  • A total net increase (over the base case economic forecast) in national GDP of $230 billion to $580 billion over the study period (2012-2040). Every $1 spent on energy efficiency programs results in an increase in GDP of $5 to $8.
  • A total net increase in national employment of 1.5 to 4.0 million job-years (one job-year is equivalent to one job for a period of one year).  Every $1 million invested in efficiency programs generates 30 to 52 job-years.
  • Across Canada, the peak annual increase in GDP is $19 billion to $48 billion, and the maximum annual increase is 121,000 to 304,000 jobs.
    This is a net benefit analysis.  The results also include the negative ratepayer effects, or costs, to fund programs and losses from avoided electricity generation

“Energy efficiency is a catalyst of economic growth,” said Dan Sosland, Acadia Center President.  “Households and businesses that participate in efficiency programs see lower bills.  Instead of spending billions on unnecessary energy supply, the dollars saved are put to work in the local economy, providing widespread benefits beyond those commonly acknowledged or measured.”
“Energy efficiency is an important and often undervalued energy resource,” said Leslie Malone, Acadia Center’s Canada Program Director.  “Efficiency delivers many benefits; it saves households money, improves industrial competitiveness, and drives economic growth and job creation throughout sectors and across Canada.  All Canadians will benefit from investments that reduce energy waste, empower consumers, and improve environmental performance.”
Acadia Center co-authored the report with Dunsky Energy Consulting and Economic Development Research Group.  A comprehensive, macroeconomic forecasting tool developed by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) was used to project the impacts of increased investment in cost-effective efficiency programs for electricity, natural gas and liquid fossil fuels across the ten provinces.  The study also assesses the resulting provincial and federal tax revenue impacts.  The work was supported by advisors from Natural Resources Canada, the National Energy Board, provincial departments of energy, utilities, and other experts in the field.
The study and supporting material are available at: http://www.acadiacenter.staging.wpengine.com/document/energy-efficiency-engine-of-economic-growth-in-canada
ENE is now Acadia Center. Acadia Center is a non-profit, research and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low carbon and consumer friendly economies. Acadia Center’s approach is characterized by reliable information, comprehensive advocacy and problem solving through innovation and collaboration.
Boston, MA | Hartford, CT | New York, NY | Providence, RI | Rockport, ME | Ottawa, ON, Canada

Dunsky Energy Consulting (DEC) is a Montreal-based firm that provides top-level research, analysis and strategic counsel to clients interested in energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities.  DEC’s clients include leading utilities, government agencies, non-profits, and private firms throughout North America.
DEC | 50 Ste-Catherine West, Suite 420 | Montreal, QC H2X 3V4 | (514) 504-9030 | www.dunsky.ca

Economic Development Research Group (EDR Group) is a Boston-based consulting firm that provides research and software related to the economic and development implications of transportation and infrastructure, energy programs and projects, and economic development programs.  Past and current clients of EDR Group span nearly every state in the US and provinces in Canada.
EDR Group | 155 Federal St, Suite 600 | Boston, MA 02110 | (617)-338-6775 | www.edrgroup.com

Electric vehicle use creeps along -proponents urge a bigger push

Concerns [of some electric vehicle drivers about range] are what Connecticut officials were trying to overcome when they began a charging station incentive program a little over a year ago and joined seven other states  in a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) initiative aimed at getting 3.3 million ZEVs on the road by 2025.

The goal is to help ameliorate climate change by using less fossil fuel, thereby lowering greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Transportation is thought to contribute about 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

New England Electricity Prices Spike As Gas Pipelines Lag

…Utilities in New England have announced electricity rates hikes on the order of 30 percent to 50 percent, making prices some of the highest in the history of the continental United States…these changes seem to have come out of nowhere, but in reality, they have been a long time coming. Between the years of 2000 and 2013, New England went from getting 15 percent of its energy from natural gas to 46 percent. That’s dozens of power plants getting built…But the pipelines to supply those power plants? Not so much.

Climate Quietly Wins Midterm Victory

Environmental groups got few of the results they’d hoped for Tuesday night, losing big both on the national level and in governors’ races.

But there was one surprising winner from the races: The Northeast’s multistate carbon-trading plan.

In fact, the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative could even be poised to pick up one massive new member.