The United States has made progress in its challenging work to increase energy efficiency throughout the nation. No partners have been more essential to that progress than the states themselves. Actions taken by the states are vital to many changes that have occurred to advance energy efficiency. The governors play a vital role with their leadership and support of initiatives that support using energy more efficiently.
The governors of each state play an essential part in the drive to advance energy efficiency. They do so by ensuring that their states lower their own expenditures for energy, strengthen and improve the reliability of those energy systems already developed and in use, and explore then implement all reasonable means of reducing environmental impact. Governors may defer construction of new power plants when possible. Most of all, these state leaders are supporting efforts consumers are making to lower their energy costs themselves.
Governors know that advancing energy efficiency is good business for everyone. It has multiple benefits for the general public and for the business sector. Governors working with state legislators, state and federal regulators and others can lead efforts in improving energy efficiency rules and standards. These affect everything from commercial and residential buildings to home appliances. They have the power to incentivize the utilities’ spending on increasing energy efficiency. This impacts industries and businesses as well as residential costs.
The states and their governors study best practices and engage in short and long term energy planning. They can analyze and project potential energy savings from plans to advance energy efficiency. They have the ability to support the financial sector in their innovative financing and repayment options. They also are the most powerful mechanism for stimulating investment by the private sector in initiatives that increase energy efficiency, including initiatives to help consumers lower their energy costs.
Exciting new initiatives may be and are being undertaken by governors and state governments involving information technology to drive businesses and consumers to enhanced savings on energy. They are vital in initiating partnerships with private sector businesses in developing the next wave of initiatives for energy efficiency. They are the chief partners for universities and think tanks who are developing the next generation of energy efficient technologies. Without the support of state governments, many fledgling energy initiatives do not succeed. Much support is needed to make major societal behavioral and engineering changes and government plays a vital role in the success of the process.
For more information on the roles that governors and the states play in the energy efficiency movement within the United States, see http://www.nga.org . Successful actions taken by many states are summarized in a paper there presented by the National Governors Association (NGA). For complete information, read the NGA’s An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors.