Friday, April 16, 2021
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Tag: Energy Efficiency

Perriello’s Bill To Aid Rural Energy Efficiency Passes House

Rep. Tom Perriello saw his bill that would provide rural homeowners with loans to pay for energy efficiency upgrades pass the House of Representatives this week. At the same time, the law - if it can get past the "Party of NO" in the Senate, and that's a big "if" - would also provide thousands of construction jobs in the parts of Virginia hardest hit by the Great Recession.

The Rural Star legislation would set up a loan fund for local electric co-ops, which would then lend the money to its customers to finance home efficiency upgrades. The homeowners would repay the government loans over time through a surcharge on their electric bills. Because of efficiency cost savings to the customers, there would be little or no change in their monthly bill.

Rural electrical cooperatives are the result of actions by the administration of Franklin Roosevelt to bring electricity to the nine out of ten rural homes without it in the 1930's. They are still an integral part of electrical service in the U.S., including many of the most rural parts of Virginia. The co-ops are owned by the members and are non-profit entities.

If the people of the 5th District, in some fit of misplaced anger, don't re-elect Tom Perriello to Congress, they will lose the most effective representative the district has ever had. Plus, they will lose a representative who cares enough about them to show up in every part of that huge district, holding town halls, meeting constituents, and...not ducking debates.

Andrea McGimsey Fights for Energy Efficiency in Loudoun County

Superb work by Loudoun County Supervisor Andrea McGimsey on making Loudoun County more energy efficient, creating jobs, saving money, and protecting the environment.
The possibility of losing the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, which supports projects and outreach efforts such as the ones outlined in the Loudoun County Energy Strategy, has mobilized local leaders across the country to petition the White House and Congress for support.

, launched the Energy Block Grants Climate Communities, a national coalition led by 15 local government officials, including Loudoun County Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac)Work! campaign on Capitol Hill last week to try to save the program...


The project that McGimsey found "the most exciting" involves applying integrated energy solutions to the Moorefield Station project -- a 400-acre, mixed-use development in southeastern Loudoun -- where the waste heat from the development's data center cluster will be recovered and used to heat nearby residences and businesses.

Beyond the benefit to the environment, McGimsey said, the projects save money, improve efficiency and create jobs. Calculations based on methodology provided by the Department of Energy show that the combined projects will create an estimated 70 private-sector jobs and save more than $125,000 in annual energy costs, she said.

"I come out of corporate America. I'm a businesswoman, and I look at these energy issues as being pro-business and also pro-environment," McGimsey said. "If you save energy, you put that money toward the bottom line of your company."

This is exactly what we should be doing in this country, and it demonstrates how badly we need leaders like Andrea McGimsey - people who "get it" on energy efficiency, by far the biggest "bang for the buck" when it comes to energy - in this country. Thank you, Ms. McGimsey, for your leadership in turning Loudoun "green!"

New Study: 38,000 New Jobs, $6.3 Billion in Consumer Savings if...

A bit earlier today, an important new study by Duke University and the Georgia Institute of Technology was released. The report is entitled, Southeast Energy Efficiency Study: Energy Efficiency in the South, and it confirms what I've been saying for years now: energy efficiency is by far and away the "lowest hanging fruit" of any energy source.  To put it another way, energy efficiency gives us the biggest energy bang for the buck, far more than nuclear power (one of the worst in terms of "bang for the buck") or "clean coal" (highly speculative and extremely expensive), for example. How much "bang for the buck" we can get from energy efficiency is made clear in this report, including the section specifically on Virginia.

*"The policies analyzed in the report offer the potential to reduce Virginia's total energy consumption in all three sectors by approximately 7% in 2020 and 12% in 2030."

*"This avoided consumption is equivalent to about 5 power plants in 2020."

*"Efficiency policies in Virginia will create jobs, spur significant economic growth and save consumers and businesses billions of dollars" ("38,000 jobs in Virginia in 2030", "Save more than $3.5 billion in 2020 and $6.3 billion in 2030").

*"These savings amount to the equivalent of the energy required by about 4,600 Wal-Mart stores and roughly $80,000 in annual energy savings per business in 2020."

*"These savings amount to the equivalent of the energy required by about 320,000 Virginian households and about $325 in annual energy savings per household in 2020."

To put it another way, as David Roberts of Grist points out, "for every dollar the South invests in energy efficiency, it will receive an average of $2.25 in benefits over the next 20 years in jobs, economic growth, and lower bills."