Energy Efficiency Gains Daily
June 12, 2006
The Department of Energy is committed to developing energy efficiency technology to change the way we power our cars, homes and businesses not only through direct R&D efforts, but also through tax breaks and by leveraging private capital. While anti-efficiency critics lament budget numbers, a broader perspective clearly shows that progress is being made on a number of fronts in efforts to improve energy efficiency. Focusing strictly on individual research and development budget line items ignores recent, tangible energy efficiency successes which are having a real impact in our nation's energy picture.
Some recent energy efficiency successes include:
The Federal government has generated $1.5 billion in savings by leveraging private capital to improve its own energy efficiency. Through technical assistance and private investment facilitation, we affect energy savings at Federal facilities equivalent to the annual needs of 150,000 households.
New magnesium casting technology has led to expanded applications of this lightweight metal, saving 30% of the weight of components it replaced.
Improved batteries for hybrid vehicles will be produced for the first time by a US battery manufacturer using technology developed by DOE.
DOE is working on breakthrough R&D in solid state lighting that, if successful, could reduce lighting energy in commercial buildings by 50%.
The Department"s investments in efforts to develop cost-competitive zero energy homes is being strengthened. Zero energy homes generate as much energy as they consume by combining energy efficient building technologies and renewable power.
DOE has launched 200 energy savings assessments teams, of which more than 100 have been completed, which will significantly reduce natural gas and electricity consumption by large, energy intensive businesses.
A transformational, DOE funded high efficiency aluminum furnace was recently launched in Ohio. This furnace, six times more compact than the existing technology, will improve energy efficiency by 60% and reduce emissions substantially.
The Department of Energy relentlessly drives to deliver more benefits by managing its resources more effectively. For example, DOE will deliver in 2007 close to 10 times the number of energy assessments to large businesses than were completed in 2005 without increasing funding. Productivity improvements in the appliance rulemaking program are taking effect and will significantly increase the number of new standards to be issued.
Following the President's vision and leadership, DOE remains committed to funding energy efficiency programs that can make a difference, while it also launches new initiatives that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, such as the Advanced Energy Initiative.