As much energy as the United States consumes, it’s nothing compared to how much energy we allow to go to waste.
Amazingly, almost two-thirds of energy produced is going to waste, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 2011, EIA estimated that the equivalent of 39 quadrillion British Thermal Units (“quads”) of electricity was generated from a variety of sources: natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, and renewables. Of the 39 quads, only about one-third was actually used for residential, commercial and industrial uses; the other two-thirds of electricity was wasted -- lost due to inefficiencies and waste in transmission lines, the electrical distribution grid, and end-use of electricity in homes and businesses. Until now, most of our national energy conversation has focused on energy generation issues, but it is clearer than ever that energy efficiency must be a cornerstone in the foundation of our national energy policy. Greater energy efficiency will boost economic productivity and competitiveness and enhance U.S. energy security while reducing emissions.
We have the technologies to vastly improve energy efficiency today. Buildings consume 70 percent of the electricity in the U.S. annually. Recent advances in building equipment, lighting, sensors, controls, and integrated systems now make it possible to achieve a significant reduction in a building’s energy use, transforming older inefficient buildings into high performance building (HPBs).
The industrial sector consumes about 23 percent of the nation’s electrical energy. When high-efficiency drives and NEMA Premium motors are combined with sensors, intelligent process controls and monitoring systems, it is estimated that 15-30 percent energy savings are achievable. These savings go directly to a