The National Governor’s Association (NGA), in efforts to increase both the awareness and implementation of energy efficient practices, has recently begun discussing the types of policies and maneuvers that would be able to increase energy efficiency across the nation. As of 2013, 31 states have adopted measures to set efficiency standards or goals to decrease costs, thereby benefiting citizens and businesses alike.
Although much of the Midwest and southern states have yet to put discussions to policies, it seems as though the NGA is working together to support improving energy efficiency rules and standards so that the effects of such programs can be seen and experienced throughout the United States. However, it is important to mark the distinction between energy efficiency and energy conservation and what that means for each states, and the country’s, energy consumption.
Energy efficiency, according the paper An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors available on http://www.nga.org, tends to focus more on cost reduction and the several ways that such standards can be realized, although it does point out a few energy conservation methods that can also help to alleviate the growing energy crises in the United States. Among these efficiency goals are many ways that the NGA is working to make these discussions into real policies, including: state energy planning to decipher where savings could be found through the recognition of current energy problems, progressing in energy standards and goals, creating reasons for utilities to support the research and development for the advancement of energy efficiency, “supporting innovative financing and repayment mechanisms to increase investment in energy efficiency”, and, lastly, to increase education efforts to spread the importance to increase energy efficiency (An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors, 2-3).
Since 2008, states have made 300 moves toward efficiency and 430 pieces of legislation have been passed that will not only help customers lower their energy costs, but which will also set standards in place that will work together in the longer term goals of reducing emissions and creating a nationwide effort to reduce energy costs (6).
The National Governor’s Association believes that the current direction that energy policies are heading is useful in that they tackle a wide range of energy issues to advance energy efficiency. Perhaps the most important of the NGA’s steps is their decision to try and encourage companies to create and sell products (E.g. washing machines, dryers, insulation, etc.) that operate with more efficiency which will, simultaneously, benefit state (and possibly countrywide) energy issues through product development and also work to help consumers lower their energy costs. To gain a greater understanding of the legislation of different states and what they are doing to achieve their goals and realize the standards that have been set, it is encouraged that you visit the NGA website and read the paper entitled An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors which goes into greater detail(http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/2013/1309_An_Energy_Efficiency_Primer_For_Governors_Paper.pdf).