Existing energy efficiency efforts are saving billions of dollars each year and could save trillions by 2040, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
As shown in the graph below, the ACEEE believes that a few recent energy efficiency policies are helping Americans save about 2 quadrillion Btu of energy this year, or about 2% of all US energy use worth about $30 billion.
By 2030, the ACEEE projects these actions will save 10-14 quads of energy a year (10-14% of all energy use), and then save 13-17 quads by 2040. The ACEE estimates the present value of the energy savings through 2040 to be $2.5-2.9 trillion.
The ACEEE focused on the savings three energy efficiency policies set by the Obama administration:
First, the Department of Transportation (DOT) update fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles and new standards for heavy-duty vehicles in 2007.
Second, the Department of Energy (DOE) set and updated appliance standards. The standards are to be updated over the next eight years, and in a recent paper, the ACEEE found that future updates could also yield significant savings.
Third, the EPA has begun to regulate carbon dioxide from other sources under the Clean Air Act, following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling. Most notably, in 2015, the, EPA issued regulations for existing power plants in [LU3] the Clean Power Plan. Large savings are expected if the CPP survives, though that is unlikely at this point.
The savings analyses follow similar methodologies to the ACEEE 2014 white paper, Government Works, and are explained in more detail there.