Information based energy efficiency can save Americans billions study finds


Kate Robertson,
Energy Efficiency
Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 25, 2011 – Information-based energy efficiency has the potential to save Americans as much as US$3 billion annually, according to a new study from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The study, based on data gathered from 11 gas and electric utilities encompassing more than 750,000 households in six states, found that savings ranged from an average of 1-3 percent per year. Although individually small, when aggregated across every home in America, this saving would amount to a projected energy usage drop of more than 26,000 GWh per year – sufficient to power every home in Colorado and Utah.

In addition these savings would reduce carbon (CO2) emissions by more than 8.9 million metric tons per year nationwide – equivalent to the emissions from three 500-MW coal-fired power plants.

“Energy efficiency is widely considered one of the greatest untapped energy resources,” commented Kate Robertson, energy efficiency specialist at Environmental Defense Fund. “This study confirms that simple behavioral changes generate consistent savings across a wide range of utilities and demographics. The message is clear: customers empowered with information on energy usage are more likely to save energy and money, all while reducing their carbon footprints.”

The participating utilities partnered with energy management software company Opower to roll out its Home Energy Reporting program. The data analyzed includes more than 22 million meter reads gathered over periods of a minimum of twelve months from each of the deployments.