RMI Discovers Potential for 30% Energy Savings
Rocky Mountain Institute’s Energy and Resources Team has just published a report that shows the opportunity for 30 percent energy savings in the United States. Assessing the Electric Productivity Gap and the U.S. Efficiency Opportunity analyzed electric productivity state by state, and found a significant gap between the highest and lowest performing states.
Electric productivity measures how much gross domestic product is generated for each kilowatt-hour consumed ($GDP/kWh). This finding is significant because if laggard states achieved the electric productivity of the top ten performing states through energy efficiency, we would achieve electric savings equivalent to more than 60 percent of U.S. coal-fired generation. According to Natalie Mims, Consultant on RMI’s Energy & Resources Team (ERT), “closing the electric productivity gap through energy efficiency is the largest near-term opportunity to immediately reduce electricity use and greenhouse gases, and move the United States forward as a leader in the new clean energy economy.”
The electric productivity of top performing states, like New York, Connecticut, and California, serves as an example of what’s achievable. Those states show the nation how barriers to efficiency practices can be overcome, how state utilities can be regulated, and how new and effective technologies can be implemented. Conversely, lower performing states have a huge opportunity to learn from the successes of higher performing states by closing their electric productivity gap using known and tested technology and policy. This will be the focus of RMI’s next step, as ERT concentrates on the efficiency measures that can cost-effectively have the largest impact.
To complement the report, RMI has also released an interactive map ranking each state’s electric productivity, which illustrates the opportunities to catch up with the best performing states. If you would like to review the report’s findings in a visual and interactive way, the map is available here.