The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (“ACEEE”) announced a December 2016 White Paper titled Pathway to Cutting Energy Use and Carbon Emissions in Half (“White Paper”).

The White Paper addresses:

  • The role energy efficiency can play in reducing United States energy use by 2040
  • The corresponding consequences for savings in 2050

The White Paper analyzed 13 packages of energy efficiency measures.

The 13 packages of energy efficiency measures identified include:

  • Appliance and equipment efficiency
  • Zero net energy new buildings and homes
  • Smart buildings and homes
  • Home and building retrofits
  • Behavior change in buildings
  • Industrial efficiency improvements
  • Combined heat and power systems
  • Light and heavy duty vehicle fuel economy improvements
  • Reductions in passenger vehicle miles traveled
  • Reductions in freight transport energy use
  • Aviation efficiency improvements
  • Conservation voltage reduction and reductions in losses from transmission and distribution systems
  • Reductions in power plant heat rates

ACEEE determined that the measures can collectively reduce United States energy use by 34 percent. The organization further states that United States carbon emissions can be reduced by 35 percent. Both figures are stated to be relative to the most recent United States Energy Information Administration forecast.

The White Paper concludes that the previously referenced reductions places the United States on a path to 50 percent savings by 2050.

The likelihood of these potential savings are contingent on United States’ expansion of efficiency efforts through:

  • Developing new building codes, equipment efficiency standards, and ENERGY STAR specifications
  • Substantially improving the efficiency of existing factories, homes, commercial buildings, transmission and distribution systems, and power plants
  • Better managing freight and aviation energy use, reducing vehicle miles traveled, and spurring changes in how individuals use energy at home, at work and in transport