Efficiency: The Gateway Drug to Energy Policy

Today is Energy Security Day at the White House. In a speech at Georgetown University, President Obama underscored his commitment to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and boosting the production of clean, renewable energy here on American soil.

The speech was mainly about oil. But I’m glad to see that energy efficiency is a part of this discussion.

In the nebulous rhetoric about America’s “clean energy future,” we often lose sight of energy efficiency, something we can invest in right here, right now, that will dramatically reduce energy costs for both homes and businesses. Energy efficiency is really the first renewable: the gateway drug, if you will, that can hook American consumers on the benefits of an energy-smart lifestyle by showing them the impact that energy has on their everyday lives…

Here’s what President Obama’s press office says about energy efficiency in a fact sheet released earlier today:

Our homes, businesses and factories consume over 70 percent of the energy we use. By making smart investments in energy efficiency in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, we can improve U.S. competitiveness and protect our environment, while saving consumers money on electricity bills. That is why the Administration is on track to weatherize 600,000 low-income homes through Recovery Act investments, and why we remain committed to a series of policies that increase efficiency across sectors – including a HOMESTAR program to help homeowners finance retrofits, a “Better Buildings Initiative” to make commercial facilities 20 percent more efficient by 2020, and steps to promote industrial energy efficiency.

Read the full opinion piece.