Study Finds the U.S. Wastes 61% of Energy, but Making Positive Progress

Posted: 10/09/2013  browse the blog archive
Study Finds the U.S. Wastes 61% of Energy, but Making Positive Progress

A new study performed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found that more than half of the energy used by Americans is wasted.  The study analyzed the amount of energy that flowed into the U.S. economy in 2012 and found that only 39% was constructively used for energy services in the residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors.  The remainder of the energy, termed “rejected energy,” was not utilized.  As clean-tech focused blog Clean Technica described, the amount of energy wasted by the U.S. in 2012 could power the United Kingdom for seven years. 

Clean Technica attributed the energy waste primarily to power plants and the transportation sector, which are both notoriously inefficient.  Yet despite current energy efficiency issues, the United States has made progress; technological advances, new behavioral science approaches and recent policy initiatives are all helping to increase energy productivity.

The good news is that businesses and corporations are increasingly supporting green behavior, says one Eco Seed  article.  For instance, SRP, an energy company in Arizona, instituted a program which provides a financial incentive for consumers to get rid of their old appliances, many of which are secondary machines that have been exiled to garages.  SRP will pick up old refrigerators and freezers and give consumers $50.  SRP estimates that running these outdated appliances can cost up to $100 a year and that removing them can keep approximately ten tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Even non-energy companies are striving to improve energy efficiency in the United States.  Earlier this year AT&T joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smartway Transportation Program to voluntarily improve fuel efficiency and emissions.  This program requires businesses to mark and measure progress in fuel emissions and helps integrate air quality, energy efficiency and climate change initiatives into their transportation policies.  As of this past June, the program has helped U.S. companies save $8.1 billion and greatly reduced fuel costs.

The Chanler Group is actively engaged in the review and analysis of incentive-based renewable energy programs to determine potential benefits to our clients.  Global energy consumption continues to increase each year and, with this increase, the demand for safe, clean, and unlimited energy is on the rise.  The Federal and State governments promote this interest through a variety of financially-beneficial incentives.  Our understanding of these laws allows us to guide homeowners, businesses, and/or developers through the various ways to take advantage of these incentive-based benefits.  With the appreciation that renewable energy laws and regulations are constantly changing, The Chanler Group is committed to investing in its understanding and practice of this area of law.