Friday, December 18, 2015

Simple energy efficiency standards can have a huge impact on GHG emssions

Working pretty hard to secure his legacy as the climate change president, US President Obama and the US Department of Energy have just issued a hugely important energy-saving standard for the country that “will save more energy than any other standard issued by the Department to date”.
The new standard governs commercial air conditioners and furnaces, which consume massive amounts of energy across America every day. Over its lifetime, the standard is expected to translate into $167 billion in saved costs for businesses, as well as 15 quadrillion BTUs of saved energy for the country, and 885 million tons of saved carbon dioxide emissions. It was arrived at through a  “consensus process” involving industry, labour groups, and environmentalists.
By 2030, this and other previously issued revisions to energy standards (such as standards on the energy efficiency of dishwashers, refrigerators, etc) are expected to reduce net US greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 3 gigatons, of which this latest measure alone makes up almost 1 gigaton.
These simple, uncontentious, and technically feasible measures can make a big difference. We should all be doing it.

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