ACES, or the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, is set for a vote by the House today. While the far sides of both ideologies are crying fowl over recent compromises and concessions to ACES, those interest groups must realize that ‘compromise’ is how things get done in Washington and the importance of the bill’s framework. Usually, as in ACES’ case, the concessions are small in order to keep intact that framework. A framework that Obama recently characterized as a ‘jobs bill‘ that will see “the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st centuryÂ global economy.” The President went on to address critics on both sides, “We cannot be afraid of the future, and we can’t be prisoners of the past. We’ve been talking about this issue for decades, and now is the time to finally act.” Hopefully, members of Congress will agree that this is indeed a historic energy bill for the United States, a country that shares dominance of global influence but has been a clean energy laggard to a certain extent.
The previous post, American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 addresses Energy Efficiency for the Future (Part 1), was an introduction to ACES and addressed the bipartisan debate and tax payer cost issues. Part 2 highlights the energy efficiency measures drafted in Title II of ACES.
Title II – Energy Efficiency of ACES sets the framework for new energy efficiency standards and requirements. Subtitle A – Building Energy Efficiency Programs looks to (Section 201) “greater efficiency in building codes”, (Section 202) “building retrofit program”, (Section 203) designing “energy efficient manufactured homes”, and (Section 204) “building energy performance labeling program”.
Further in Title II, Subtitle B – Lighting and Appliance Energy Efficiency Programs seeks to set (Section 211) “lighting efficiency standards”, (Section 212) addresses “other appliance efficiency standards”, and (Section 213) looks at “appliance efficiency determinations and procedures”, and (Section 214) establishes a “best-in-class appliances deployment program”. Title II also addresses Utilities Energy Efficiency (Subtitle D), Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs (Subtitle E), and Improving Energy Savings Performance Contracting (Subtitle F).
Title II of ACES sets important energy efficiency precedents and has substantial future monetary savings for consumers, businesses and the global community on top of the overwhelming environmental goodwill. While all of the potential savings many not be realized immediately, this is a stop gap to the alternative — do nothing to solve the energy crisis that is depleting our planet, draining our resources and costing consumers, businesses and the global community money in wasted energy.
Energy efficiency in consumer electronics (which includes appliances, mobile devices and other electronic and mechanical products), along with the crucial GHG emission standards this bill addresses, is one of the single most important issues facing the global community. In 2008, vampire energy loss (wasted energy) sucked $256 Billion worth of unused energy and released 1.65 Billion tons (or 3.3 Trillion Pounds) of C02 emissions, which is alarming the scientific community and unprecedented from previous decades. The Consumer Electronics Agency has reported that consumer electronic use will only continue to rise, which means the energy they waste will move in concession.
ACES is crucial to the future vitality of our nation and a clear indication that time is of the essence. While many in politics worry about foreign threats to our security, the true menace to society is energy waste, the cost of wasted energy, eventual energy shortages and the perils of our energy demands on the planet. As Obama put it, “There’s no disagreement over whether our dependence on foreign oil is endangering our security; we know it is. There’s no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy; it’s happening. And there’s no longer a question about whether the jobs and the industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy. The only question is, which country will create these jobs and these industries?”