Goal: Save consumers money while transitioning to a cleaner, energy secure economy.
• Greater Energy Efficiency: Efficiency gains present huge opportunities to save consumers money. Investments in energy efficiency have high returns and also save the avoided costs of building new energy generation infrastructure. Strong minimum efficiency standards for buildings, appliances, electronics and vehicles will encourage efficient products on a mass-scale, lowering the price of efficiency for all consumers.
• Clean, Renewable Energy: Cleaner energy requires a greater upfront investment, but as it is deployed large-scale, it will become more affordable, sustainable, and predictable. Increasing clean energy is an investment in American jobs, innovation, energy security and sustained affordability for households and commercial and industrial energy users.
• Public Participation: Direct consumer involvement in energy decision-making is essential to ensure energy prices are stable and fair. Consumer involvement and representation in energy and utility decisionmaking will give consumers a voice in making energy policy.
What You Can Do:
• Write or call your state and federal representatives to demand legislation that protects consumers and promotes clean energy and energy efficiency.
• Find out more about what incentives your state is offering to help you save money in making your home more energy efficient or capture renewable energy at http://www.dsireusa.org.
• Follow some of these basic tips and share them with friends and family:
o Put your PC to sleep. Save $25 to $75 each year by using the system standby or hibernating feature on your computer.
o Plug electronics into a power strip so that you can turn them all off at once.
o When it comes time to change your light bulbs, switch to compact fluorescent (CFLs). CFLs will save you at least $30 over the life of the bulb.
o Weather-strip old windows and doors. It’s the surest way to close the gaps around openings, reducing heating and cooling costs by 15 to 30 percent.
o Add insulation. An estimated 80 percent of older homes are underinsulated. Properly insulating and sealing your home can cut your heating and cooling bills by 10 percent.
• More at www.consumerreports.org/green and www.energysavers.gov.
Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Policy Analyst, email@example.com, 202-462-6262.
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