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VEIC’s Work Essential to Meeting Climate Goals

Jim Madej, Chief Executive Officer -

funding-finance

On October 6, the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming special report on the earth’s warming trajectory. In a nutshell, we have 12 years to keep the earth’s temperature from rising 1.5°C to avoid a “catastrophic environmental breakdown.”

Energy efficiency gets us further, faster

The report states that to limit warming to this degree we must lower primary energy demand by 15 percent by 2030 and 30 percent by 2050. The report also calls for a significant increase in annual investments in low carbon and efficiency technologies. Energy efficiency is fundamental to this work. In 2017 the NRDC issued an analysis showing that energy efficiency makes an even larger contribution to emissions reductions than renewables. While solar panels, battery storage and electrification are important and necessary innovations, energy efficiency is quick to implement and reduces the need for as much renewable generation and storage capacity.

Efficiency is good business

For 32 years, VEIC has been a national and international leader in sustainable energy planning, program design, policy, evaluation, research, and implementation. We operate three successful sustainable energy utilities founded on the value of energy efficiency – the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), Efficiency Vermont, and Efficiency Smart. We’ve proven out the benefits and we have a highly effective model. Working with existing assets and market actors – energy utilities, product manufacturers, building contractors, and consumers – we can create viable market solutions in service to the climate challenge.

In 2017 the DCSEU invested $3.4 million with certified business enterprises and created 84 green jobs at a living wage in Washington, D.C. Efficiency Smart’s work has provided an average of $4.10 in benefits for every dollar spent since its creation in 2011. And Efficiency Vermont served more than 15,000 businesses in 2017 helping them save $107 million over the lifetime of their efficiency investments. These results are just a sample of the positive economic impacts energy efficiency has had on our communities. 

Opportunities for growth

The IPCC report paints a daunting picture, however there is great potential for rapid progress with energy efficiency. The latest Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report from E2 shows that it is the fastest growing and largest sector for energy jobs. And we know from recent reports from the U.S. Department of Energy and ACEEE that there are huge opportunities across the country for new and additional efficiency work. The market research exists and the business case is strong. By adapting to changing energy needs in areas where efficiency is already prevalent and expanding our reach to regions that currently have little to no efficiency services, we can make a serious dent in reducing energy demands.

We’re driven by our mission to enhance the economic, environmental, and societal benefits of clean and efficient energy use, and it’s clear now that its needed more than ever. Let’s make the next twelve years count.

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