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Report: $438 annual savings for Michigan families if strong efficiency policies are part of federal energy bill

New report illuminates untapped potential to reduce home energy bills
Feb 24, 2010
Michigan families could slash their utility bills $438 per year if strong energy efficiency policies are incorporated into the climate and energy legislation before Congress, according to a new analysis.

A report released today by Michigan Environmental Council and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) shows that robust state and federal energy efficiency policies could dramatically reduce energy consumption and save Michigan residents an average $438 on their energy bills every year. These policies would drive down energy costs in every state while invigorating a clean energy economy that is putting Americans back to work.

The report, “Building on the Success of Energy Efficiency Programs to Ensure an Affordable Energy Future,” demonstrates the immense benefits to Michigan families of including strong energy efficiency policies as part of the energy package currently being debated by the U.S. Senate.

Based on an analysis of state efficiency programs and recent national studies, the report concludes that energy efficiency programs dramatically cut energy waste. Strong federal energy efficiency policies could reduce overall energy use by 20 to 30 percent.

“Our research shows we’ve only begun to tap the energy efficiency potential that can create jobs, conserve energy, and save families hundreds of dollars each year,” said report author Dr. Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America. “Cap-and-trade has monopolized the headlines. But given its stellar record of success, it’s time for senators to view energy efficiency as a cornerstone of the nation’s climate policy.”

The report outlines specific policies that would maximize cost savings. These policies include a federal standard requiring utility companies to provide efficiency programs for customers; strengthened building codes and appliance efficiency improvements; and proper funding for retrofitting or improving the efficiency of existing buildings.

Other efficiency proposals – including “BuildingSTAR,” a program that would provide tax credits for retrofitting commercial and apartment buildings – would help businesses cut costs and allow clean energy businesses to expand, putting more Americans into long-term quality jobs.

“Consumers are spending hundreds of dollars a year more than necessary on energy bills – money they can hardly afford to waste,” said David Gard, energy program director for the Michigan Environmental Council. “We hope Senators Levin and Stabenow recognize this clear evidence that common-sense energy efficiency policies can give their state’s families relief from needlessly high gas and electric bills.”

The full report is available at: http://www.consumerfed.org/elements/www.consumerfed.org/File/ConsumerImpactfinal.pdf

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The Michigan Environmental Council is a coalition of about 60 environmental, public health and faith-based organizations dedicated to developing strong environmental laws and public policy at the State Capitol and with Michigan’s Congressional delegation.

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an advocacy, research, education and service organization made up of 300 nonprofits from across the United States. CFA has provided consumers a well-reasoned and articulate voice in decisions that affect their lives since 1968. CFA's professional staff gathers facts, analyzes issues, and disseminates information to the public, policymakers, and rest of the consumer movement.

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Contact
David Gard, Michigan Environmental Council: 517-487-9539
Dr. Martin Kushler: 517-655-7037
Kerry Ebersole: 248-224-5145

RELATED TOPICS: energy efficiency
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