Energy Efficiency Promotes Economic Growth
As a constituent, I write today to urge you to support energy efficiency. Energy efficiency has a range of benefits to our country, including the ability to help make our economy more productive and competitive on the international stage. Federal efficiency policies and programs, like those housed at the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and elsewhere, have produced significant economic benefits and play a critical role in keeping the U.S. at the forefront of this important field.
Energy efficiency offers the opportunity of a true win-win scenario. By using energy more efficiently, we can actually enjoy large economic gains and this trend can be seen clearly over the last several decades. Since 1980, U.S. national GDP has grown by 166 percent while national energy consumption has only increased by 25 percent. This means that we are now getting more than double the amount of GDP per unit of energy consumed, which translates into significant economic benefits.
From a monetary standpoint, energy efficiency policies currently generate an estimated $800 billion in annual savings, which translates to about $2,500 per capita. That money is critically important at the household level because energy costs are one of the top expenditures for U.S. households and would require a higher percentage of income if it were not for investments in energy efficiency. Not only are energy savings beneficial at the consumer level, but money not spent on utility bills can be spent in other ways, which helps stimulate the economy.
A final aspect of energy efficiency’s economic benefits is jobs. A recent report estimates that there are 2.25 million energy efficiency jobs in the U.S. Not only does that put energy efficiency at the top of all the energy-related subsectors, but energy efficiency is also the fastest growing subsector in the country as it added 67,000 new jobs in 2017. These jobs are often connected to small businesses and are present in every state across the country.
Please work to advance energy efficiency policy and protect the gains the U.S. has made to date to benefit our national economy and global competitiveness.