Source: Courtney Welch, National Conference of State Legislatures, LegisBrief, Vol. 16, no. 26, June/July 2008
The most affordable, available and sustainable energy source is energy efficiency. Tremendous opportunities to tap energy efficiency exist, offering cost-effective ways to address the challenges of high energy prices, energy security and independence, air pollution and climate change.
Energy efficiency can be thought of as a resource, since investments in energy efficiency reduce consumption of existing energy, allowing the saved energy to be used in new buildings or for other needs. Thus, energy efficiency can have the same effect as building new power plants. Improving energy efficiency requires little or no additional infrastructure, and implementation costs often are minimal. Energy efficiency technologies are available for buildings, homes, power systems, industry and transportation. Efficiency measures that decrease energy demand also offer environmental and health benefits, such as reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, lower water use, and less environmental damage from fossil fuel extraction.