October 4, 2023 | Neil Kolwey
For over two decades, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), along with many of our partners and Allies, have promoted better energy efficiency as the fastest and most cost-effective way to slow down climate change, improve the health and air of communities in the American Southwest, and lower energy costs across the region. Energy efficiency products and services are also a large sector of the nation’s and region’s economy, employing more than two million workers nationwide. This year’s Energy Efficiency Day (#EEDay) celebrates our continued forward momentum on better policy, utility engagement, and overall success and the amazing milestones achieved in accomplishing an overarching goal: a cleaner planet for all.
Energy efficiency will be getting a big boost in the coming years from new programs and grants created through the federal Inflation Reduction Act. For example, new “Home Energy Rebate Programs” will be rolled out in early 2024 by state energy offices, providing rebates for many types of home energy efficiency improvements. Hefty tax credits are also available for electric vehicles. These rebates and credits will give many home and car owners the opportunity to save energy and money, improve the comfort of their homes or their driving experience, and reduce their carbon footprint.
For our homes, good insulation and air sealing, LED light bulbs, and an efficient heat pump system with a smart thermostat are some examples of using energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption, costs, and air pollutant emissions. Driving a more efficient or electric vehicle also saves money and reduces polluting emissions.
Energy efficiency also helps businesses reduce energy costs and emissions. For example, industrial facilities can install variable-speed drives and better controls on pumping and fan systems. And when buildings and industries invest in efficiency to reduce electricity consumption, this helps avoid new power plants, keeping utility rates lower while also reducing carbon emissions. By investing in energy efficiency, homeowners and businesses contribute to a cleaner environment and stronger economy for ourselves and our children. Check out the Energy Efficiency Day website for more information.