Report: Energy efficiency standards have room for improvement

Between now and 2035, existing energy standards involving energy-efficient homes and commercial buildings will save the United States about 200 quads of energy. To provide some context, American consumers collectively use about 100 quads of energy per year.

On top of these savings, a new study has found that about 21 percent more additional savings – about two-and-a-half years of normal energy use in all – can be realized if existing standards are upgraded and new standards are put in place.

"The Efficiency Boom: Cashing In On Savings From Appliance Standards," published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), determined that about $1.1 trillion could be saved by 2035 if its suggested reforms are instituted.

ACEEE advocates that these new standards would affect products like street lights and computers, which have never previously been forced to comply with government-mandated standards. As this blog reported last week, some communities in California are already instituting street lights that use far less energy through the use of LED lights.

"Energy efficiency standards are beneficial on so many levels," David Goldstein, co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's energy program, said in a press release. "They help our environment, they help drive innovation and – as this report shows – they help consumers save money with every appliance they plug into their wall sockets."

Although these savings would be more long-term in nature, homeowners can unlock immediate energy savings simply by contacting a Washington, D.C. home inspector to conduct an energy audit. Using valuable information from that home inspection, property owners can remedy any outstanding problems with their homes, such as inefficient or ineffective heating and insulation, and institute cost-effective reforms.