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Our Campaigns

The Cleanest Energy: Conservation & Efficiency

Goal: Promote energy conservation and efficiency, defend important energy efficiency regulations and provide citizens with actions to take at home and in your community.
As energy waste goes down, savings go up

The amount of energy America is wasting is almost too big to believe. In 2017, the nation consumed 97.7 quadrillion Btus of energy, two-thirds of which was wasted. While this waste is largely caused by inefficient, non-renewable energy production systems, the ways we use energy in our homes, businesses and travels also contribute to our waste problem.

But the good news is that the path forward is clear. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that we can reduce our overall energy usage by 40 to 60 percent below current levels by midcentury, simply by using better technologies and eliminating waste across our economy.

Reducing energy use creates big savings—for our planet, our climate and our health. More efficient energy use will clean up our air and help combat climate change. As an added bonus, reducing energy consumption results in lower energy bills.

The next step in a bold vision

To meet the greatest environmental challenge of our time – climate change – we must shift America away from fossil fuels and toward 100 percent renewable energy. The easiest step we can take to move us along that path is to reduce the amount of energy we need in the first place. So, first things first: Let's cut our energy use and energy waste in our homes and businesses, and reduce the amount of energy we use for transportation.

Each of us can pitch in by taking action at home, at work and in our communities. At the same time, we need strong policies to ensure that we have better, more energy-efficient buildings, appliances and programs that help save energy. Environment America Research and Policy Center’s campaign for The Cleanest Energy is focused on four arenas in which we think we can make immediate progress:

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1. Reducing energy use in our homes and workplaces


Saving energy is a common-sense solution, and it enjoys broad support. Americans can embrace energy efficiency and conservation in our own homes and businesses — meaning we can make tangible progress in energy savings without waiting for the government to act.

From small changes, such as switching light bulbs to LEDs, to big changes, like installing solar panels on roofs, there are many ways we can begin to address energy waste and energy efficiency in our own homes.

Environment America Research and Policy Center and our national network recently created a Citizen’s Guide for Reducing Energy Waste, to help people identify the areas of their homes and businesses where energy use can be reduced.

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2. Building smarter and more efficiently

While we each must work to reduce energy use in our homes, we must also make sure that institutions, cities and states are setting and observing strong efficiency standards for their infrastructure.

Environment America Research and Policy Center and our national network's researchers and advocates are working toward a 2050 goal of reducing energy use in our nation’s buildings by half, through the construction of high-performance new buildings, investments in weatherization and major retrofits for existing buildings.

We can improve building codes so that all new buildings meet “net-zero” energy standards by 2030, meaning that every new building constructed just a decade from now will be able to produce all the energy it needs onsite using solar panels to wind turbines.

Thomas Kelsey, U.S. Dept. of Energy Solar Decathalon

3. Improving appliance efficiency standards

Another important way to reduce energy use is to make sure that all appliances and products on the market are using energy as efficiently as possible.

Alongside our state affiliates, Environment America Research and Policy Center is educating the public and government officials about what can be done through energy conservation and efficiency. With appliance efficiency standards, we can generate energy savings, reduce environmental damage and create momentum that helps other communities follow suit.