This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 04, 2002

Report Shows Large Benefits from Energy Star Program

A report released in late November by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that Americans have achieved significant energy and environmental benefits through the Energy Star program and other voluntary programs. Last year alone, Americans saved more than 80 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoided using 10,000 megawatts of peak power, the amount of energy required to power more than 10 million U.S. homes. Through voluntary efforts, Americans have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent to 38 million metric tons of carbon, which is the same as taking more than 25 million cars off the nation's roads.

The Energy Star Program is a joint effort of DOE and EPA. More than 750 million Energy Star-labeled products have been purchased to date, and more than 1,600 builder partners have constructed more than 57,000 Energy Star-labeled homes, saving homeowners more than $15 million in energy costs each year. See the EPA press release or go directly to the full report (PDF 4.0 MB). Download Acrobat Reader.

According to a recent survey by Platts Research & Consulting, 63 percent of U.S. residential consumers say they have implemented energy-efficiency measures in their homes in the past five years. Breaking the consumers into segments, the survey found that those interested most in saving money and in convenience were most likely to take action to save energy. See the Platts press release.

But despite such findings, there is still plenty of room for improvement. A recent study by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), for instance, found that the efficient use of electricity in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming could reduce those states' total use of electricity by 18 percent by 2010, and 33 percent by 2020. The slower growth in electrical load due to energy efficiency would avoid the need to build 34 power plants (each generating 500 megawatts) over the next 18 years. This would also save 25 billion gallons of water per year by 2010 and nearly 62 billion gallons per year by 2020. See the SWEEP study, which includes links to one regional and several state-by-state press releases.