Using less energy means fewer power plants and decreased energy sprawl – the amount of land needed for clean energy. Every time we retire a natural gas power plant, we cut our carbon emissions and reduce the need for pipelines.
- Saving energy through greater efficiency can eliminate the need for new power plants and protect more wild places. Not building a 1,000-megawatt coal fired power plant saves about 23,500 acres from development, including the plant footprint and associated mining, waste disposal, power lines and rail spurs.
- Energy efficiency and conservation can reduce fossil fuel pollutants that affect public health and valuable natural resources. One coal facility can emit over 600,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, 200,000 tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxides and three tons of mercury, contributing to acid rain and public health problems like respiratory illness.
Visit The Wildnerness Society site for more information on how “Saving Energy Saves Lands.”
It also means lower electric bills. (Visit the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.) Further to this, you could also get lower electric bills yourself by using a company like Simply Switch who can compare energy providers and tell you which one would be cheaper. With or without the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, states that pursue renewables and energy efficiency will see smaller increases in total electric system costs through 2030 than they would with any other investment strategy.
Energy efficiency pays off
According to The Wilderness Society:
National appliance and equipment efficiency standards generated about 340,000 jobs through 2010. By 2030, they are expected to save $68 billion a year and create an additional 40,000 new jobs.
- In the past 35 years, California’s landmark energy efficiency programs have reduced personal electricity use by 40% below the national average and resulted in $56 billion in household energy savings. By allowing expenditures to be redirected toward other goals and services, energy efficiency helped create 1.5 million jobs with a total payroll of $45 billion.
As shown in the figure above, investments in energy efficiency continue to grow in the United States.