Policy Solutions: Reports & Issue Papers

All Reports & Issue Papers Tagged energy efficiency

Strong U.S. Energy Efficiency Standards: Decades of Using Energy Smarter
The U.S. Appliance Standards Program Has a Long History of Success, Bipartisan Support, and Saving Americans Money
Fact Sheet
Wasted energy means wasted money. National energy efficiency standards that the U.S. Department of Energy is establishing for more than 50 types of household appliances and commercial products in our homes, businesses, and industries help cut that energy waste: they set a dependable minimum level of energy efficiency that all Americans can count on to reduce energy waste and lower their energy bills.
Constructing Change: Accelerating Energy Efficiency in India's Buildings Market
Issue Paper
India is at a crossroads in its development path. India's building-occupied area is projected to skyrocket from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion in 2030. To keep pace, India's energy production must grow 6.5 percent per year from 2011 to 2017. Energy efficiency will be the cheapest, fastest way to close the energy demand and supply gap.
NRDC’s Second Annual Energy Report, 2014
Positive Energy Trends Bode Well for U.S. Security and the Economy
Report
For decades, America's energy news trended from bad to worse, beginning with the oil crises of the 1970s. However, NRDC recently conducted an exhaustive 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. And in an era of escalating Mideast turmoil and gyrating oil prices, this accumulated resilience could hardly be more timely.
Your Guide to More Efficient and Money-Saving Light Bulbs
Fact Sheet
In 2007, Congress passed minimum energy efficiency standards for everyday light bulbs that will reduce consumers' energy bills by $13 billion per year, or $100 per household per year, and save 30 power plants worth of electricity annually once the standards are in full effect. These standards do not ban incandescent light bulbs -- they simply require them to be more efficient and go into effect in stages.
The Latest-Generation Video Game Consoles
How Much Energy Do They Waste When You’re Not Playing?
Issue Paper
The newest game consoles are on track to consume as much electricity each year as all the homes in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country, and cost consumers more than $1 billion to operate annually. Most of that energy will be consumed in the middle of the night, when the console is in standby mode.
California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story
Saving Billions of Dollars and Curbing Tons of Pollution
Fact Sheet
California's long, bipartisan history of promoting energy efficiency -- America's cheapest and cleanest energy resource -- has saved Golden State residents more than $65 billion, helped lower their residential electricity bills to 25 percent below the national average, and contributed to the state's continuing leadership in creating green jobs.
Energy Saving Home Networks
Issue Paper
In 88 million homes across the United States, digital content flows through high-speed modems and routers, streaming our videos, pinging email into our inboxes -- and consuming 8.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. All of that energy comes with a $1 billion price tag as small networks guzzle power around the clock, even when our gadgets hibernate and we sleep.
Combined Heat and Power Systems
Improving the Energy Efficiency of Our Manufacturing Plants, Buildings, and Other Facilities
Issue Paper
Improving the energy efficiency of our manufacturing facilities, buildings, and homes can help us meet our energy challenges affordably. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems are strong examples of how energy-efficiency technologies can help achieve significant benefits for end-user facilities, utilities, and communities.
Saving Money and Energy
Case Study of the Energy-Efficiency Retrofit of the Godrej Bhavan Building in Mumbai
Issue Paper
Historic blackouts across India in July 2012 revealed the severity of India's energy crisis. Looking ahead, scaling up energy efficiency promises to be the fastest, cheapest, and cleanest way to help meet India's energy demands. This case study highlights Godrej Bhavan, an iconic office building in South Mumbai, focusing on the strong business case for energy-efficiency upgrades or retrofits.
Energy Productivity in Ohio
Efficiency Benefits to Power Jobs and the Economy
Issue Paper
Ohio has tremendous opportunity to improve its energy productivity and decrease the amount of money it sends to other states to import energy. Since the 2008 passage of bipartisan Senate Bill 221 that includes an energy efficiency portfolio standard, Ohio has already begun to realize increased productivity in the energy sector and across the larger economy.
Saving Energy in Server Rooms and Closets
Issue Paper
Energy waste in U.S. server rooms and closets represents the equivalent output of seven medium-size coal-fired power plants, costing U.S. businesses over $2 billion per year in unnecessary electricity.
Integrated Building and Tenant Space Case Study
Skanska and The Empire State Building
Fact Sheet
Skanska USA undertook an extensive build-out of their flagship New York City office in 2008 by moving to a new space that focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. This resulted in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating, the first for Skanska offices in the United States, and the first of any office space in the Empire State Building (ESB).
Saving Energy
Taking Building Efficiency to New Heights
Fact Sheet
Efficiency is everywhere, but it is an invisible resource and often underutilized. Energy efficiency is the fastest, cleanest, and cheapest way to meet energy needs -- India alone could save $42 billion each year by largely improving energy efficiency in buildings, which currently consume more than 30 percent of the country's electricity. With a projected skyrocketing increase in building-occupied area in India, from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion by 2030, any building constructed without optimizing efficiency represents a lost opportunity to lock in energy and cost savings for decades. Get document in pdf.
Taking Energy Efficiency to New Heights
Analysis and Recommendations for the Buildings Sector from the Hyderabad Experience
Issue Paper
This report by NRDC and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) examines the significant energy efficiency potential of India's real estate sector through specific analysis of Hyderabad's commercial and high-rise building sector.
Capturing Energy Savings Opportunities Through Increased Building Efficiency
Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to meet energy needs. Efficiency is an invisible resource -- one that is everywhere -- and yet often overlooked. According to McKinsey & Company, India could save $42 billion each year with enhanced efficiency; and the building sector could be a key source for those savings. Buildings already account for more than 30 percent of India's electricity consumption. Total building space in India will increase from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion by 2030. Two-thirds of commercial and high-rise residential structures that will be standing in 2030 have yet to be built. Every building constructed without optimal efficiency represents a lost opportunity to lock in lower energy consumption and increased savings for decades. Get document in pdf.
Reducing the Need for U.S. Drilling Through Energy Efficiency
Fact Sheet
The toll from the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is devastating. Nearly 4 million barrels of oil have poured into Gulf waters,1 destroying fragile marine and coastal ecosystems and inflicting untold economic damages on businesses and residents in the Gulf region. The effects of this spill -- one of the largest in history -- will be felt for generations. Get document in pdf.
NRDC is Leading the Way Towards Climate Solutions for China
Fact Sheet
China’s rapid development has created urgent environmental and energy challenges—-but it also presents a unique opportunity to help shape a low-carbon, sustainable development pathway for China that would have significant benefits both for China and the world. For nearly 15 years, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been working to strengthen environmental protection and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in China by working with central and local governments, research institutes, environmental groups, and businesses to develop the policies and tools needed to address China’s climate and energy challenges.
Get document in pdf.
Boosting Energy Efficiency Nationwide Through Measurement and Performance-Based Rewards
Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency is the most cost effective means for reducing global warming pollution. According to McKinsey and Company, the energy bill savings from efficiency investments could roughly offset the cost of implementing a mandatory carbon cap. And many of these investments already make sense economically: McKinsey estimates that a $50 billion per year investment could result in $1.2 trillion in energy bill savings by 2020 while reducing end-use energy consumption by about 23 percent of projected demand. In addition to saving Americans money on their utility bills, investments in energy efficiency would put downward pressure on electricity, natural gas, and carbon allowance prices (when a carbon cap has been established), while creating 600,000 to 900,000 new jobs. Establishing a reliable measurement for energy efficiency performance and rewarding success in improving performance will help America reach its full energy-saving potential. Get document in pdf.
Opportunities for Agriculture
ACES legislation will bring new energy and income to America's farmers
Fact Sheet
The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) includes significant benefits for American farmers, including incentives for increasing energy efficiency and deployment of renewable energy sources. In addition, under the cap and invest system envisioned by the legislation, farmers could earn additional income through the sale of offsets -- credits for reductions in direct emissions or enhanced carbon sequestration on the farm. This legislation would provide the support that farmers and ranchers need, help them create new jobs and transform their businesses to succeed in a more secure and sustainable clean energy future. Get document in pdf.
Kick-Starting Building Efficiency
A Policy Workplan for Maximizing the Economic Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Fact Sheet
The buildings sector is the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, including emissions from generating the electricity used in buildings. Buildings and the appliances within them currently account for roughly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and that number is on the rise. Fortunately, buildings also offer the quickest and most cost-effective opportunity to reduce global warming pollution while yielding direct economic benefits, saving consumers money and boosting U.S. industry. Energy efficiency measures such as retrofitting existing buildings and increasing the energy efficiency of new buildings can generate net savings using technology that exists today. NRDC recommends a clear set of policy solutions for reaping the immediate benefits of building efficiency. Get document in pdf.
Clean Energy Saves Americans Money
Clean Energy is the Real Solution to Unpredictable Oil Prices
Fact Sheet
Clean energy is cheaper and cleaner than oil, and the amount of fuel we can get from clean energy measures dwarfs what can be scraped from drilling. New NRDC analysis shows that, unlike dirty fuel options, clean energy strategies can actually save drivers money while reducing our oil dependency and slashing global warming pollution from the transportation sector. Get document in pdf.
Clean Energy: The Solution to Volatile Gas Prices
Fact Sheet
Newly updated NRDC analysis shows that the oil savings from clean energy measures can far outpace the potential oil production of drilling in America's protected areas. The real solution to volatile gas prices and oil dependency is a strategy that relies on energy efficiency, clean fuels, and transportation choices such as commuter rail -- not drilling. Get document in pdf.
Lowering the Cost of Play
Improving Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles
Issue Paper
Today, more than 40 percent of all homes in the United States contain at least one video game console. In this November 2008 issue paper, NRDC provides recommendations for users, video game console manufacturers, component suppliers and the software companies that design games for improving the efficiency of video game consoles already in homes as well as future generations of machines yet to hit the shelves.
Boosting the Benefits
Improving Air Quality and Health by Reducing Global Warming Pollution in California
Issue Paper
California has the opportunity to combat global warming while simultaneously improving air quality and public health throughout the state. Measures being considered under the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) could save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of other negative health impacts each year -- saving billions of dollars in healthcare costs.
The New Energy Economy
Putting America on the Path to Solving Global Warming
Issue Paper
How America and the world respond to global warming and our growing demand for energy -- and whether we respond in time -- will determine what kind of planet we have for generations to come. Fortunately, many of the technologies and policy tools we need to make the shift to cleaner energy solutions already exist, and we can deploy them without harming the economy. NRDC outlines six energy-sector opportunities that can help America reduce global warming pollution. The next step is decisive action by the U.S. government to facilitate these investments and reduce our global warming pollution the necessary 80 percent, or 10.6 billion tons, by 2050.
Driving It Home: Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future
Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future
Report
North America faces an energy crossroads. With the world fast approaching the end of cheap, plentiful conventional oil, we must choose between developing ever-dirtier sources of fossil fuels -- at great cost to our health and environment -- or setting a course for a more sustainable energy future of clean, renewable fuels.
Costa Rica: Setting the Pace for Reducing Global Warming Pollution and Phasing Out Oil
Fact Sheet
Already a world leader in renewable energy use and tropical forest conservation, Costa Rica has declared the goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral country. To achieve this goal, Costa Rica must reduce its dependence on oil and increase investment in domestic renewable energy production and demand reduction strategies. Get document in pdf.
Why Coal Liquids Are Not A Viable Option To Move America Beyond Oil
Fact Sheet
Liquid coal is a polluting process that releases large quantities of global warming pollution into our air. America should instead pursue clean energy options such as efficiency, smart growth, and renewable fuels. Get document in pdf.
Strip Mining for Oil in Endangered Forests
Fact Sheet
Big oil interests are scraping away hundreds of thousands of acres in North America’s Boreal forest to produce tar sands oil, and in the process consuming large amounts of natural gas and generating three times as much global warming pollution as conventional crude oil production. Greater efficiency and renewable fuels are far better, cleaner ways to meet our energy needs. Get document in pdf.

Track Current Legislation

Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no...

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