As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the creation of the State Energy Efficiency (SEE) Action Network. This network is meant to help states achieve maximum cost-effective energy-efficiency improvements in homes, offices, buildings and industry by 2020. Strengthening energy-efficiency initiatives across the country helps to save money and protect the environment at the same time.
“In the clean-energy future, energy efficiency is action No. 1. We can cut greenhouse gases and protect our environment while we save money for homeowners, schools and businesses,” said Lisa P. Jackson, EPA administrator. “With strong federal support, our state partners can realize these benefits even faster than expected and move aggressively into a clean, affordable energy future.”
“Expanding energy efficiency is one of the quickest, most cost-effective ways we can address climate change and grow America’s economy,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The State Energy Efficiency Action Network will help provide states with the technical and policy support they need to invest in energy efficiency, saving energy and money for families and businesses across the country.”
The SEE Action Network will be led by the U.S. Department of Energy and the EPA. Through the network, the DOE, the EPA and other member organizations will assist states with their energy-efficiency initiatives, including residential efficiency programs, financing solutions, and improving availability of energy-usage information. It will address the full range of challenges to implementation by providing targeted technical assistance to states in order to reach ambitious national energy goals to greatly improve our nation’s economy and environment.
The SEE Action Network will drive energy efficiency by using a broad set of goals developed in the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency but will strive to reach these goals five years earlier than originally envisioned. These goals range from establishing state-of-the-art billing systems that provide consumers with consistent information on their energy use and costs to developing strong state policies to ensure robust energy-efficiency practices.
The new SEE Action Executive Group will meet for the first time in early March. A number of working groups will continue to meet throughout the year to deliver results on specific goals.
The National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency is a public-private initiative that began in the fall of 2005 to create a sustainable, aggressive national commitment to energy efficiency through collaborative efforts of gas and electric utilities, utility regulators and other partner organizations.