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The United States is reducing oil dependence, slowing the growth of electricity needs, and making energy services more affordable to all Americans. Oil and energy consumption remain well below levels seen a decade ago, renewable energy is surging, and growth in U.S. electricity sales continues to decline. NRDC's 2014 review of the most recent data shows that the overall state of the U.S. energy economy remains excellent. The most important single contributor to these positive trends is energy efficiency, the nation's largest and most inexpensive resource. Efficiency has allowed America to get more work out of less oil, natural gas, and electricity while pushing our economy forward.

And while the United States appears to be on track to meet the Obama administration's target of a 17 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2020 (relative to 2005), more can and must be done. The United States is now considering how best to reduce the power plant carbon pollution harming its citizens and environment, and this report is a testament to how much success America has already recorded in reducing these emissions while improving its economic and environmental health. There is every indication that these positive energy trends will continue, and accelerate.

2013 Report:
America's (Amazingly) Good Energy News

For decades, America's energy news trended from bad to worse, beginning with the oil crises of the 1970s. However, NRDC's 2013 analysis that found a remarkable turnaround. Based on key economic, security, and environmental indicators, the state of the U.S. energy economy has never been better. Due in large part to increased energy efficiency, positive energy trends are saving the nation hundreds of billions of dollars annually, helping U.S. workers and companies compete worldwide, making our country more energy-secure, and substantially reducing our national carbon footprint. However, these trends must continue and accelerate to offset the most damaging effects of climate change. We should build on America's positive energy trends, and give priority to efficiency improvements that cost far less than the energy they displace.

Read the 2013 Report (PDF)

energy efficiency

last revised 10/16/2014

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