Environment Northeast, a New England non-profit advocacy group, have produced a fascinating report that reveals that all the money businesses, governments, utility companies and others are spending on energy efficiency programs not only reduces energy use, but also pumps cash back into the economy – they estimate $6 - $8.50 for every $1 spent. It does this as energy efficiency helps businesses grow, creates jobs and stimulates spending.
Admittedly this range of saving would vary in different economies or areas, but the report highlights that it makes sense to become energy efficient for the whole local economy and not just the front-end impact of saving money.To see the overall effect of such measures Environment Northeast’s report reckons that if $27.2 billion were spent over the next 15 years, that’s just in New England, on energy efficiency programs, $180 billion would be reinvested back into local economy. Almost three-quarters of that would be returned to the working population through increased income, with an estimated average of 38,000 jobs being created annually.
Derek K. Murrow, one of the authors of the report, said: “The return numbers are really impressive. A lot of states, and especially Massachusetts, have made a significant commitment to capturing energy efficiency . . . [and] moving forward with those opportunities is a real need, especially in a time of economic downturn.’’
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said in an e-mailed statement to the Boston Globe: “Some things are simple. We can reduce energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and save money at the same time by becoming more energy efficient.’’
Education that energy efficiency does more than lower bills is one of the most significant issues the Environment Northeast report addresses.
The Boston Globe spoke to senior vice president of Associated Industries of Massachusetts Robert Rio, and he “believes in energy efficiency’’ but also sees some challenges.
“Cost is obviously a hurdle. Somebody has to pay for all of these investments, ’’ Rio said, adding that many often have to be persuaded into implementing efficiency measures. “The key is, it’s not sexy. People like to put windmills up, people like to put solar panels up, but in reality, dollar for dollar, energy efficiency will get you more kilowatts.’’
As Rio states, it isn’t sexy to be energy efficient as no one notices what has been done, which is why Enigin’s Eniscope and its real-time display is so popular, using large screen displays businesses can now make their invisible energy saving efforts visible to all and it’s less imposing than a windmill.
Energy efficiency, particularly replacing old for new technologies that require less energy to perform such as lighting a room, is a priority. Load-side product upgrades along with advance metering throughout commerce and industry is vital, although investment is needed the potential return is huge for local communities. Enigin distributors worldwide are able to help by providing the Eniscope advance meter and from the real-time and historical energy use data the right products and decisions can be made for the most effective energy efficient actions.
In time of economic stress there is no better time for business owners to protect the future of their businesses by saving energy and as the report has highlighted it can give a substantial return on investment for the whole local economy, giving a hidden return to the business. Plus, of course, some would say most importantly, it protects the future of the planet.
Based on original report by the Boston Globe.