According to E&E News, the Energy Star program is the most successful voluntary energy-efficiency program in the world. It has saved consumers and businesses $34 billion in electricity costs and prevented more than about 300 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in one year.
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Madison, Wisconsin’s resolution to power the entire city with 100 percent renewable energy is wider-ranging than most because it covers not only electricity but also heating and transportation.
Consumers have seen flat or declining energy costs as renewable energy becomes a greater part of the energy mix of Minnesota and the nation.
“An ideal climate policy would reduce carbon emissions, limit regulatory intrusion, promote economic growth, help working-class Americans and prove durable when the political winds change. We have laid out such a plan in a paper to be released Wednesday by the Climate Leadership Council.”
“We have a very interesting message coming from the heartland,” said Henry Henderson, director of Natural Resources Defense Council’s Midwest program. “These policies come from the most energy-intensive part of the country, and there has been a bipartisan embrace of clean energy as good for the public, good for the economy and good for states.”
ThedaCare is on track to recoup a $1.9 million energy efficiency investment this year, just two years after establishing its department for sustainability in health care. New projects worth $1.5 million will commence in 2015 and be paid off in about two years, said Paul Linzmeyer, sustainability leader for ThedaCare since 2012. His department is charged with helping to improve the health of communities by greatly reducing or eliminating ThedaCare’s energy, waste and water footprint.
About a quarter of all residential energy consumption is used on devices in idle power mode, according to a study of Northern California by the Natural Resources Defense Council. That means that devices that are “off” or in standby or sleep mode can use up to the equivalent of 50 large power plants’ worth of electricity and cost more than $19 billion in electricity bills every year.