Energy is a basic necessity in modern society, just like water and food. Consumers should have access to safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally-sustainable sources of energy to meet individual, family and community needs. However, America lacks a comprehensive energy policy to reach these goals. Transitioning to a cleaner and more efficient economy will benefit consumers, while at the same time creating jobs, enhancing energy security, driving American innovation throughout the economy, and increasing America’s competitiveness in world markets.
Congress is currently debating several energy and environmental measures. Consumers Union advocates that, in making the transition to a cleaner energy economy, Congress should enact key provisions to control costs for consumers and maximize consumer savings from energy efficiency. Through energy efficiency, increased reliance on renewable resources and public participation, consumers will be able to make progress toward a more secure, more affordable, and healthier future.
Increasing energy efficiency and diversifying the energy sector will provide consumers greater energy security and protect consumers against price spikes in energy prices. Efficiency standards, renewable energy mandates, and funding for development of cleaner and more efficient technologies will go a long way in easing the costs of a transition to a cleaner economy.
Energy efficiency is often called the “fifth fuel” because improving efficiency is cheaper than generating more energy. Efficiency gains present huge opportunities for consumers to save money. Investments in energy efficiency foster the development of energy saving technology, reduce household energy consumption and avoid costs of building new energy generation infrastructure. Consumers Union supports efforts to review and tighten efficiency standards for appliances, buildings, lighting, heating and cooling, and vehicles. Strong minimum standards will require deployment of efficient products on a mass-scale, lowering the price for all consumers to become more energy efficient.