Alliance President Paula Glover Urges Congress to Prioritize Efficiency as Climate, Equity Opportunity | Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance President Paula Glover Urges Congress to Prioritize Efficiency as Climate, Equity Opportunity

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Alliance President Paula Glover Urges Congress to Prioritize Efficiency as Climate, Equity Opportunity

Release Date: Thursday, February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON – Alliance to Save Energy President Paula Glover testified to lawmakers Thursday that energy efficiency is a foundational solution for addressing climate change while creating economic benefits across the country in the form of jobs and increased energy affordability, particularly for disadvantaged communities.

“I would argue that energy efficiency should be the starting point in the conversation about an equitable clean energy transition,” Glover said in testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy Subcommittee, highlighting that efficiency is both the largest employer in the clean energy economy and the most effective carbon-reduction solution. The International Energy Agency projects that efficiency will account for nearly half of the emissions reductions needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Glover highlighted a number of proposals and bills in the Alliance’s policy agenda to help stimulate activity, including a new grant program aimed at helping small businesses improve their efficiency, legislation to retrofit critical public buildings to be more efficient and resilient, modernized tax incentives for energy efficient homes, increased funding for weatherization assistance, and an emphasis on equitable workforce development.

On jobs, Glover noted that even after losing more than 300,000 jobs as a result of the pandemic, efficiency employs more than 2 million Americans – about seven times the size of the wind and solar industry workforces combined and more than 10 times the size of the coal industry workforce.

“Energy efficiency jobs are spread all over the country – they are construction workers and HVAC contractors retrofitting homes and buildings, factory workers making windows and insulation, electricians and plumbers, and increasingly, engineers and tech workers designing or installing digital controls and systems to manage energy demand,” she said. “These are the types of jobs that will be created if we launch a national campaign to modernize our infrastructure by retrofitting millions of homes and buildings, creating a more efficient transportation system, and cleaning up our industrial sector … And, if we start our planning today, we can ensure that those opportunities are available first for the communities that need them most – from rural towns in West Virginia to urban neighborhoods in Illinois.”

Glover also emphasized efficiency’s ability to reduce the energy cost burden, particularly for low-income households that spend a disproportionate share of their income on energy bills.

 “I started my career accepting payments in a utility billing department, and I know first-hand what the energy cost burden looks like for struggling families,” she said. “One in five U.S. households has had to reduce or forego food, medicine, and other necessities just to pay their energy bills. Imagine at the end of the month being forced to choose between feeding your family or keeping the lights on. I am not here to tell you that energy efficiency can make this burden disappear. But what it can do is deliver hundreds of dollars a year in lower bills, savings that can make all the difference for a family struggling to get by.”

About the Alliance to Save Energy

Founded in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy is a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders working to expand the economy while using less energy. Our mission is to promote energy productivity worldwide – including through energy efficiency – to achieve a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security, affordability and reliability.


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