Quantifying U.S. Energy Efficiency Improvements

March 25, 2013
Spending on efficiency trumps new power supply investments.

How much does the U.S. spend annually on energy efficiency measures?

If you guessed between $480-670 billion, you’d be right on the money.

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), businesses are readily investing in energy-efficient goods and services. The analysis, which draws from 2010 data, shows that these measures are unsung and invisible heroes in the fight to reduce energy consumption.

Strategies such as utility energy efficiency program expenditures, sales of ENERGY STAR and other efficient products, annual investments in building efficiency improvements, repairs and new construction, trends in manufacturing energy use and investments, and sales of efficient cars and light trucks are the main driving force.

Comparatively, the U.S. spent about $170 billion in 2010 on conventional energy supply, including items like transmission lines, drilling equipment, oil wells, and power plants.

The $72–101 billion premium for energy efficiency measures is roughly half of the annual investment in energy supply, delivering three times the level of new energy services as conventional.

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