TABLE 5.1 Panel Estimate of the Potential for Cost-Effective Annual U.S. Energy Savings (in quads) Achievable with Energy Efficiency Technologies in 2020 and 2030

 

Conservative Estimate

Optimistic Estimate

 

2020

2030

2020

2030

Buildings, primary (source) electricity

9.4

14.4

9.4

14.4

Residential

4.4

6.4

4.4

6.4

Commercial

5.0

8.0

5.0

8.0

Buildings, natural gas

2.4

3.0

2.4

3.0

Residential

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.5

Commercial

0.9

1.5

0.9

1.5

Transportation, light-duty vehicles

2.0

8.2

2.6

10.7

Industry, manufacturing

4.9

4.9

7.7

7.7

Total

18.6

30.5

22.1

35.8

Note: Savings are relative to the reference scenario of the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2008 (EIA, 2008) or, for transportation, a similar scenario developed by the panel. See Table 1.2 for more information on the baselines used in the panel’s analysis of the buildings, transportation, and industry sectors.

5.1
OVERARCHING FINDINGS

On the basis of its estimates of the energy savings potential outlined in Table 5.1, the panel presents the following overarching finding:

Overarching Finding 1

Energy-efficient technologies for residences and commercial buildings, transportation, and industry exist today, or are expected to be developed in the normal course of business, that could potentially save 30 percent of the energy used in the U.S. economy while also saving money. If energy prices are high enough to motivate investment in energy efficiency, or if public policies are put in place that have the same effect, U.S. energy use could be lower than business-as-usual projections by 19–22 quadrillion Btu (17–20 percent) in 2020 and by 30–36 quadrillion Btu (25–31 percent) in 2030.2,3

2

The basis for comparison for the buildings and industry sectors is the reference scenario of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Outlook 2008, produced by the Energy Information Administration (EIA, 2008), and the panel’s similar but slightly modified baseline for the transportation sector.

3

The Committee on America’s Energy Future report (NAS-NAE-NRC, 2009) estimated the amount of possible savings as 15–17 quads (about 15 percent) by 2020 and 32–35 quads (about



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