A new study released last week by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) finds that energy efficiency can save Missourians $6.1 billion in lower energy bills and create 8,500 new, local jobs by 2025.
The study, the 10th in a series of state-level energy efficiency studies by ACEEE, examines a suite of new or expanded energy efficiency policies and programs for Missouri. This set of cost-effective energy efficiency policies can meet 17% of the state's electricity needs by 2025 and 10% of natural gas use compared to a business-as-usual scenario. The new jobs created will be spread across the state's economy, including in agriculture, construction and manufacturing.
"Missouri often touts having some of the lowest electricity rates in the country, but the state's homes and businesses actually consume energy at one of the highest rates per capita," said Maggie Molina, lead author of the report. "Energy efficiency measures for homes and businesses (such as adding insulation, installing high-efficiency lighting, upgrading air conditioning and heating equipment, and making manufacturing and agricultural processes more efficient) can lower energy use-which means lower energy bills and more money in consumers' pockets."
While legislation passed in 2009 in Missouri initiated regulatory changes that would value utilities' investments in efficiency equally to traditional, energy supply investments, the effects of those regulations are still emerging. And consumers and businesses still face challenges when investing in energy efficiency because they may have limited access to upfront capital or technical expertise.
"Our report outlines a broad suite of policies for future progress that addresses remaining barriers by making energy efficiency more accessible to Missouri residents and businesses," said Suzanne Watson, ACEEE's policy director and co-author of the report.
The report discusses efforts currently underway throughout the state and examines an expanded, comprehensive group of 10 policies and programs that can significantly boost investments in energy efficiency and stimulate the economy. Examples include regulatory policies for utilities, manufacturing and agricultural initiatives, and public building upgrades.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit www.aceee.org.