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Focus on Reducing Carbon Emissions Drive Energy Efficiency Programs in the US

Online PR News – 02-March-2010 – – Several regulations in US have been developed in order to encourage the deployment of renewable source and energy efficiency measures. The ‘American Clean Energy and Security Act’ has provisions to reduce carbon emissions by decreasing the country’s consumption of fossil fuels. The consumption of energy from fossil fuels can be decreased by increasing the energy produced from renewable sources or by saving energy. Energy efficiency measures can be used to reduce the energy consumed from fossil fuels, which is why the US climate bills has provisions to drive energy efficiency measures. The existing provisions in HR 2454 for energy efficiency measures could save $400 billion by 2030 and nearly $470 billion by 2050. The investments in energy efficiency measures will also create jobs, ensure energy security, drive innovations and save consumers’ money. The provisions in the clean energy bills and budget allocations will drive the energy efficiency programs in the US.

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The ARRA was passed in 2009 and has encouraged significant investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the US. The recovery act was intended to provide a stimulus to the ailing, recession-hit American economy. A major portion of the stimulus package for the energy sector was focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy measures.
It was estimated that approximately 47% of the overall stimulus package of $16.8 billion went towards energy efficiency measures. ARRA has also extended the tax incentives which were part of Energy Policy Act 2005 (EPACT). ENERGY STAR rated appliances are also eligible for Federal Tax Credits. ARRA has encouraged the purchase of ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, new furnaces, windows and insulation for the energy efficient upgrade of homes.

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The executives of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Alliance to Save Energy (Alliance), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the California Energy Commission (CEC), the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC) and other furnace and air conditioner manufacturers have signed an agreement to establish regional energy efficiency standards for HVAC appliances with stricter standards for new constructions. The standards are segregated based on three climate regions, North, South, and Southwest and this would aid in comprehending the region-wise energy usage for heating and cooling applications. This segregation will ensure the appropriate investment planning to drive the measures. The stricter standards necessitate both new and old buildings to be refurbished with appropriate insulation devices and the new standards are expected to save $13 billion during the period 2013-2030 – incorporating the cost of more energy efficient equipment. The successful implementation of the standard would save an overall of 3.7 quadrillion Btu (British Thermal Unit) of energy, which is the equivalent of the energy consumed by 18 million US households in a year. The energy savings would also aid in achieving a reduction in CO2 emissions of 23 million metric tons by 2030.

GlobalData’s new report “North America Energy Efficiency Policy Handbook, 2010: Policy Measures Driving Energy Efficient Practices” provides an in-depth analysis of the policy initiatives in the US and Canada. It details the key policy instruments adopted by the US and Canadian governments and analyzes the different forms of incentives and subsidies provided for the development of energy efficient technologies. The report analyzes financial instruments such as tax reforms, subsidies, loans and other types of incentives. The report details the market-based instruments such as certificates driving the energy efficiency appliance market. The report discusses in detail the energy efficiency measures being taken by the industrial, residential, tertiary and transportation sectors of each country. The report assesses the key regulations and policies and their impact on the growth of the energy efficient appliance market. The report also discusses the role of the public sector in the deployment of energy efficiency measures.

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Rajesh Gunnam
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