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Useful insights, faulty analysis in new book on rising energy use

This post was written by Steven Nadel, Executive Director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog.

A new book by David Owen was just released entitled The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse. This book expands upon an earlier article Owen wrote in The New Yorker that ACEEE criticized. Owen makes some useful points and does attempt to address some of the criticisms of his earlier work, but his book still suffers from the major flaw of his article -- a tendency to make conclusions based on anecdotes when a more careful look at the data would have shown that these claims are exaggerated.

Read more: Energy Efficiency

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How does energy efficiency create jobs?

This post was written by Casey Bell, senior economic analyst at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. With unemployment hovering at a stubborn 9 percent, it is no wonder that job creation has become a hot topic. It is nearly impossible to read the news without encountering an article describing how a policy or industry creates a given number of jobs. Often, job creation is used as a justification for public sector investment in a program, policy, institution, or project. You may also see numbers from the energy industry proclaiming the …

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Debunking common energy efficiency myths

Time to shatter some common myths about energy efficiency.Photo: Sergio AlvarezThis post was written by Sara Hayes, senior researcher at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. Energy efficiency can be difficult to conceptualize -- there's not a representative device like a solar panel or wind turbine. Rather, it's a collection of technologies, strategies, and policies involving our houses, businesses, transportation, and behavior that improve the way we live. There are often misunderstandings or "myths" about how we verify that energy efficiency is working and measure what benefits it's providing. Four measurement …

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A look at CHP markets across the country: Sometimes supportive policies aren't enough

This post was written by Anna Chittum, Senior Policy Analyst at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. Here at ACEEE we love combined heat and power (CHP). CHP is a critical, affordable, and proven energy resource that can produce electricity and thermal energy at the same time from a single fuel input. CHP does this at up to double the efficiencies of traditional utility power plants. CHP units already provide over 12 percent of the country's electricity generation -- avoiding the emissions of a substantial amount of NOx, SO2, CO2, and …

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How to avoid a train wreck: replacing coal with energy efficiency

This post was written by R. Neal Elliott, associate director for research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. Over the past year, the utility industry has experienced significant angst over pending updates to utility environmental regulations. Of particular concern is the question of whether to invest in plant updates to comply with these regulations, or to retire these plants all together and replace them with new (and most likely natural-gas fueled) power plants. Many inside and outside the utility industry have painted this situation as a crisis in the making. …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

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State by state, appliance standards save money, create jobs, and protect the environment

This post was written by Rachel Gold, policy analyst for research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. Since the 1980s, energy-efficiency appliance standards have been saving consumers money and creating jobs throughout the U.S. These standards translate into savings when new, energy-efficient equipment is purchased, reducing utility bills for consumers and businesses. This in turn creates a net increase in jobs and wages due to the fact that as consumers and businesses shift spending away from energy utilities -- an industry sector with relatively few jobs per dollar of revenue …

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New vehicle labels take three steps forward, one step back

This post was written by Therese Langer, transportation program director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. The new vehicle fuel economy label announced today by the EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) beats the current label, providing better information on fuel costs and adding emissions of both greenhouse gases and traditional air pollutants. The new label takes on the confusing matter of the divergence of fuel economy and greenhouse-gas performance when fuels other than gasoline enter the mix, showing for example how a diesel vehicle does better on miles-per-gallon …

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Why EIA funding cuts may disrupt energy efficiency investments

This post was written by R. Neal Elliott, associate director for research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a contributing author at the ACEEE blog. Last Thursday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced cuts in Energy Data and Analysis Programs resulting from the fiscal year 2011 budget deal. While the 14 percent annual cut looks small, because we are halfway through the fiscal year, this translates into a much larger cut for the remainder of the year, which ends in September. Among the reductions announced are national surveys that collect data on energy investment and usage -- …