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How Much is Energy Efficiency Worth to WA Families?


March 8, 2010

SEATTLE, Wash. - A new state-by-state analysis of research on what federal energy efficiency standards would cost families - and how much they would save on utility bills - shows the net gain would be about $330 for the typical Washington household.

At the Consumer Federation of America, Research Director Mark Cooper crunched the numbers, weighing the costs of energy-saving appliances and better insulation against the price of electricity, and he found bottom-line savings. The most money is saved if a household can manage a 30-percent increase in energy efficiency, Cooper says.

"Now, it's not free - you have to spend money to make money. On net, however, they'll end up at the end of the year with $300 more in their pocket."

Cooper says natural gas savings for Washington households using the same equation would be almost $70.

He notes that his numbers are based on assessments from federal research and organizations that are not lobbying either for or against energy legislation. Efficiency, he explains, is simply a profitable investment.

"The cost of getting more efficiency in the building - more insulation, higher-efficiency appliances and so forth - is less than the cost of consuming the energy."

The full report, "Building on the Success of Energy Efficiency Programs to Ensure an Affordable Energy Future," is available at


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