Energy Efficiency May Offer Florida Big Savings

Florida could save $28 billion—enough to cover this year's entire education and transportation budgets—by using energy efficiency strategies that are available now, says a study released by the Washington, D.C.-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The ACEEE study is said to show that using energy efficiency policies alone, such as efficient windows, compa...

07/01/2007


Florida could save $28 billion—enough to cover this year's entire education and transportation budgets—by using energy efficiency strategies that are available now, says a study released by the Washington, D.C.-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The ACEEE study is said to show that using energy efficiency policies alone, such as efficient windows, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and ENERGY STAR appliances, can nearly offset the state's entire future growth in electric demand by the year 2023.

The study also concludes that Florida would create more than 14,000 jobs by 2023. The direct and indirect jobs created would be equivalent to nearly 100 new manufacturing plants relocating to Florida, but without the demand for infrastructure and other energy needs.

The ACEEE study provides specific energy efficiency and renewable energy policy recommendations that the state should consider, especially as Florida gears up for Gov. Charlie Crist's “Serve to Preserve” Summit on Global Climate Change with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Miami on July 12 and July 13.

If Florida both expanded its energy efficiency measures and invested in renewable energy sources like biomass and solar, the state could cut electricity demand by nearly a third by the year 2023—without building expensive and environmentally risky new power plants or relying on conventional power sources such as natural gas, coal, oil or nuclear power, concluded the study's authors.

Specifically, the study found that energy efficiency measures could cut demand by 19.9%, and using renewable energy sources could cut demand by 9.5% by 2023.

“Energy efficiency is the most affordable energy resource in Florida,” said Dr. R. Neal Elliott, industrial program director at ACEEE and lead author on the report. “While 20% efficiency savings in 15 years may seem challenging, other states are already reducing electricity growth faster than that, at a cost of 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, only about half of what new power plants would cost.”

Also available is the “State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 2006” graded each state and the District of Columbia on actions they have taken.





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