Energy Efficiency Investments
Why do investments in energy efficiency matter?
In our region, investing in cost-saving energy efficiency has become a core strategy for reducing emissions, lowering energy demand, and driving down customer energy bills.
Northeastern efficiency investments are delivering nation-leading results
In 2012, four New England states and New York occupied five of the top ten spots for energy efficiency in the country. These strong investments in energy efficiency programs – such as Massachusetts’ electric program which will return $3.69 for every $1 invested – decrease energy consumption and associated emissions and can also reduce the need for expensive new electricity infrastructure.
Reduced energy demand means lower energy bills for businesses and consumers and less money leaving the region to import carbon-intensive fuels. Massachusetts’ latest three-year energy efficiency plan is expected to deliver emissions reductions comparable to the environmental benefits of taking over 400,000 cars off the road. Energy efficiency investments generate significant local economic benefits, including increased Gross State Product and thousands of new jobs. Benefits are generated directly through delivery of energy efficiency programs, and indirectly as increased disposable income from energy bill savings, which is spent on local goods and services instead of imported energy fuels.
Energy efficiency is our best near-term emissions reduction policy
Energy efficiency is also a core strategy for reducing pollution by avoiding unneeded burning of fossil fuels for electricity and heat. For example, Massachusetts expects that 28% of its ambitious 2020 emission reduction goals will come from energy efficiency investments.
Efficiency reduces power grid costs
Without the effects of efficiency investments, New England’s power grid operator (Independent System Operator for New England (ISO-NE)) expects a steady increase in electricity demand. With the energy savings from energy efficiency efforts, however, electricity demand will remain flat through 2021, avoiding costly expansions of the power grid.