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A key deadline looms on September 30th this year: Lawmakers must pass a bill to reauthorize funding for transportation infrastructure for another five years. So what extent should Congress help Americans be able to transition to electric cars? As the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure gears up to release its highly anticipated bill following a Senate bill from last year, it’s worth addressing some common concerns.
Recent climate data show that the 2010s were the warmest decade on record, with an acceleration of temperature increases in the past five years. Given that increased energy efficiency is the lowest cost, highest impact, and fastest-to-implement climate solution, we are not giving it the urgency it deserves. We need to declare an efficiency emergency to address the global climate crisis.
President Trump has recently launched a crusade against newer and more energy and water-efficient appliances and plumbing products, claiming that they do not perform as well as their energy-intensive predecessors. Appliance and plumbing fixture standards have cumulatively saved consumers billions of dollars on energy and water utility bills. But do these energy and cost savings come at the expense of performance? Or is this false nostalgia? Here’s a look at the evolution of three common items the president likes to discuss.
It’s clear from the inclusion of building efficiency in their climate plans that the candidates running in the Democratic presidential primary each seem to recognize the opportunities here. So without aiming to make a direct evaluation between the candidates’ plans or endorsing one, we pulled together some of the key pledges from each of the proposals.
Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee unveiled the outlines of a sweeping climate bill this afternoon, and a look inside shows a host of ambitious energy efficiency policies. That is smart thinking, considering efficiency measures alone could cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050. It’s also no coincidence that the package is led in large part by two leading efficiency champions and members of the Alliance to Save Energy’s Honorary Board of Advisors – Reps. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.).
While efficiency has had some rocky games in the past (at least at the federal level), at the Alliance, we are training for the season ahead by focusing on the basics of the game – defense, offense, and team building. But we’re taking it one step further by also changing the game through strategic initiatives. Like any good team, we are also thinking ahead and laying the groundwork for the 2021 spring training season of newly elected members of Congress and potentially a new administration.
For the first time, starting with the next update to the model building energy code that states and local governments adopt, all new construction – houses, apartment buildings, condominiums, commercial high-rises, and office parks – will be pre-wired for charging the vehicles of the future.
This week, Congress passed a massive $1.4 trillion spending bill funding the government agencies through September, including not only significant increases for energy efficiency programs, but also several key directions to the Department of Energy. The president is expected to sign the bill today. The numbers are easy to understand, but why did Congress include these directions and what will they do?
This week, the Alliance, ACEEE, and BCSE jointly released the Energy Efficiency Impact Report, a digital and graphically-heavy report telling the story of energy efficiency’s impacts on the U.S. economy, environment, and society, across a variety of sectors (utilities, buildings, industry, transportation). The report relies on 54 indicators to show the breadth, depth, and diversity of energy efficiency progress in recent years.
President Trump claimed on Friday that “People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water.” He called for a nationwide review of water efficiency standards, questioning their effectiveness. But indoor water use had decreased by 22% per household since 1999. Water efficiency standards are helping save water for bathroom fixtures and appliances – including sinks, showers, clothes washers, and toilets. Here’s how.

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