Policymakers take note: energy efficiency may be your best economic development strategy.
A recent report commissioned by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) found that energy efficiency investments boosted the economies of Washington and Oregon by hundreds of millions of dollars more than if that money had been invested elsewhere. Not only does spending on energy efficiency generally remain localized, it also frees up capital that can be redirected towards other projects. Places that encourage investment in energy efficiency can then reap the long-term benefits of a stronger local economy, higher wages and lower unemployment.
We need a mix of market based tools to promote investments in energy efficiency. Here are three innovations that encourage broader adoption of efficiency and stimulate deeper, more persistent energy savings.