Why do Local Governments Care About Energy Efficiency?

Local government leaders across California are motivated to further energy efficiency (EE) goals for a number of different reasons:

  • Cost Savings: One of the top motivating factors that speaks to everyone is cost savings. Using less energy means spending less money on energy. Spending less on energy reduces overhead, frees up funds for other projects, and reflects smart, responsible management. Energy efficiency is the gift that keeps giving, since the amount you save is not a one-time event: if a $100,000 energy-efficient lighting project saves you $20,000 per year on your utility bills, you will continue to save $20,000 a year over the lifetime of the project – and you will have paid off the project’s cost in $100/$20 = 5 years.
  • Health Benefits: Reducing energy used reduces emissions, which can improve air quality. (For more on air quality, click here.) Energy audits and building improvements also improve buildings’ functioning.
  • Sustainability and Climate Change: Avoiding wasted energy is good for the environment. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions (for more on energy efficiency’s role in greenhouse gas emissions reductions and climate change mitigation see the California Energy Commission (CEC)’s 2015 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR)‘s first chapter highlighting EE as the focus of the report).

See even more reasons – including resiliency, job creation, local economic development, and operational benefits (comfort, savings) in this SEEC presentation on Why Energy Efficiency.