THE American CouNCIL for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a nonprofit organization located in Washington, D.C. Its staff is comprised of scientists, lawyers, engineers, and policy analysts. Its mission is to increase the economic well being of the world and foster a cleaner environment through energy efficiency. ACEEE is not a membership-driven organization; however, it does send out conference information, publications, and online newsletters to over 30,000 registered individuals.
Since its inception in 1980, ACEEE has helped to save American energy consumers over $50 billion and 60 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually. These savings are brought about by standards and policies recommended by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and included in the energy policies of the last four U.S. presidents. ACEEE promotes five main program areas: energy policy, buildings, utilities, industry, and transportation. The goals of these programs are to educate consumers, businesses, policy makers, and program managers through collaboration and publications. ACEEE often works with energy experts, universities, national laboratories, and those in the private sector.
The first of ACEEE's projects was to influence energy policy. In 2006, the United States used approximately 100 billion British thermal units (Btu) of energy. ACEEE seeks to decrease this amount by lobbying Congress to include efficiency measures in national legislation. The organization has worked with Congress on major laws, such as the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and draft bills of comprehensive energy legislation in both the U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Senate.
ACEEE is also an established leader in creating ways to improve the efficiency of buildings, thereby decreasing overall impacts on global climate change. It has been instrumental in creating voluntary and mandatory labeling programs. ACEEE also consults with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) on the Energy Star program to achieve program targets. Finally, ACEEE
is working to engender new, more stringent stateregulated building codes, which will require a greater emphasis on energy-efficient technologies.
ACEEE also works with the utility sector to design and implement efficiency policies and programs. They accomplish this by working with states and utilities on an individual basis, advocating for funding for end-user and system-wide efficiency programs, and creating sound policy advice. ACEEE also offers strategies for implementation, such as "reliability-focused" energy-efficiency, which promotes energy savings during times of high demand.
AnotherACEEE program area is industry. The goal of this program is to promote and analyze new technologies and polices that bolster energy efficiency while also increasing the competitiveness of businesses and agriculture. Staff members review energy-use trends, options for implementing energy and cost-saving technologies, and potential productivity and capital gains from such implementation options. ACEEE believes that sustainable businesses usually have the strongest bottom lines; therefore this nonprofit organization works to facilitate communication among businesses, government, and the environmental community. ACEEE accomplishes this by hosting a Summer Study in Energy Efficiency in Industry each year.
Another area that ACEEE works to improve is the transportation sector. ACEEE advocates for incentives for green vehicles, stronger Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, market initiatives to promote greater vehicle efficiency, and more research and funding for new, clean technologies. ACEEE maintains a website for consumers to research the most fuel-efficient vehicles, read recent publications, and find tips for greener driving at www.greenercars.org.
ACEEE works with international companies and foreign nations to support energy efficiency programs. Most of this work is in conjunction with developing countries such as Brazil, China, and Thailand. In Brazil, ACEEE helped to establish PROCEL, the national energy conservation program. PROCEL has received over $100 million from the World Bank and the Global Environmental Facility. ACEEE's work in China has led to the establishment of the China Green Lights Program and the China Motor Systems Energy Conservation Program. These efforts helped
China to adopt national efficiency standards and integrated resource planning. ACEEE is expanding their international efforts to include the Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Poland, and the Slovak Republic. In addition to their Summer Study institute, the group also publishes several consumer guides, including the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings.
sEE ALso: Energy; Energy Efficiency; Green Design; Policy, International; Policy, U.S.
BIBLIoGRAPHY. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, www.aceee.org (cited August 2007); U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, www .eia.doe.gov (cited August 2007).
Ellen J. Crivella Vermont Law School
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