Pennsylvania energy-efficient investment ranks seventh in U.S. for 2011

January 10, 2012

The growing number of energy-efficiency standards in states around the U.S. has led to an increased allotment for efficiency programs in local government budgets around the country, according to a report from the Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE).

The report outlined how the U.S. as a whole spent $6.8 billion in 2011, marking a 25 percent increase over the total investments for the previous year. This would put American on track to invest roughly $12 billion by 2020.

Pennsylvania was seventh out of the top 10 states and regions in the country for energy efficiency investments, as the state spent $270 million in 2010. California, New York, the Pacific Northwest region, Massachusetts, Florida and New Jersey were the only areas to provide more funding than the commonwealth.

The energy efficient investments made by Pennsylvania come at a time when many states are looking to establish themselves as leaders in the sector, as well as reducing electric costs and lowering consumption levels.

The Greater Philadelphia region is the epicenter of energy efficient progress for the state, as the Department of Energy awarded funding and chose a specific project, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC), as one of its innovation HUBs to foster progress in the industry.

Headquartered at the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard, the GPIC uses the significant building stock available in the area to deploy and test developments made by the consortium of organizations working on the project. The effort is focused on creating jobs and developing the sector within the state, but the technological advancements may benefit the entire country.

It is efforts like the GPIC that have catapulted the U.S. ahead of several European countries in terms of energy savings. According to Think Progress, efficiency efforts in America saved 112 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2010, which is more than six times what an equivalent program was able to do in Germany.

These savings, as illustrated in the IEE report, were achieved at an average cost of 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, making it one of the most competitive resources on the global market. These improvements are helping to save American taxpayers money, according to Think Progress.

The news source reported that a recent study showed that deployments in the efficiency and clean energy sector in the Northeastern U.S. will save taxpayers more than $1.1 billion over the life of the program, along with already creating 16,000 jobs.