Steal this idea: DOE's efficiency mandates as a policy model for cities

Tue, 2015-01-13 12:00 -- SCC Staff

Ideas you can use department: The story below is about new U.S. energy efficiency standards for fluorescent lights. But the larger point is the use of policies, regulations and codes to affect change. Want your city to be smarter? Your most effective leverage may be to institute policies and building codes that mandate the results you want. As long as you phase them in very gradually (as in the case below)you can often avoid controversy and push back while steadily moving things in the right direction. – Jesse Berst

New energy efficiency standards for tubular fluorescent lights promise big savings on utility bills for schools, hospitals and every office in the U.S. that uses them. As Noah Horowitz points out on the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) blog, the savings could amount to $15 billion by 2030 because there are not only a lot of those tubulars lighting up buildings across America, but they are often on for 12 hours at a time. (NRDC is a Council Advisor.)

The energy efficiency standard for tubular lights announced the last day of 2014 is one of 10 standards the Department of Energy (DOE) finalized in 2014 in support of President Obama's Climate Action Plan. They range from standards for commercial refrigeration equipment to furnace fans and, according to DOE, altogether the 10 standards will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 435 million metric tons and save families and businesses $78 billion in electricity bills through 2030.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said his department is committed to building on the progress made last year, and will continue to develop standards that move the U.S. closer to a low carbon future.


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to learn about the benefits you receive when you join the Council for free. Follow @Jesse_Berst and connect on LinkedIn.

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