American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2012)|
|Exec. Director||Steven Nadel|
|Headquarters||Washington, DC, USA|
|Slogan||"Promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection."|
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. Founded in 1980, ACEEE's mission is to advance energy efficiency as a fast, cheap, and effective means of meeting energy challenges. ACEEE promotes energy efficiency by conducting technical and policy analyses; advising policymakers and program managers; and working collaboratively with businesses, government officials, public interest groups, and other organizations. It convenes conferences and workshops, primarily for energy efficiency professionals, and produces reports, books, conference proceedings, and media outreach.
ACEEE employs more than 35 Washington, D.C.-based employees, and holds field offices in Delaware, Michigan, Washington, and Wisconsin. The organization's primary focuses are on end-use efficiency in industry, buildings, utilities, and transportation; economic analysis and human behavior; and state and national policy.
Federal and State Energy Policy
ACEEE has worked on federal energy policy since the 1980s. The organization played central roles in the development of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, energy efficiency provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. It also played a role in the development of energy efficiency sections in recent farm bills. Many of these provisions were developed in cooperation with interested business and received bipartisan support.
ACEEE staff testify before Congress and work closely with Congressional staff in both parties to help shape new initiatives and analyze the impacts of energy and climate policy proposals. They weigh in on the federal budget process, promoting and increasing funding for what they deem the most effective energy efficiency programs.
The organization also works with federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy on programs and policies, and participates in formal rulemakings on energy efficiency issues. Most of ACEEE's federal policy work involves research and education; however, they do a limited amount of lobbying using unrestricted funds.
At the state level, ACEEE works closely with public officials and local energy efficiency advocates, providing advice, analysis, and technical support. In order to maximize its impact, the organization concentrates its efforts on large states that are poised to make major decisions on energy efficiency policy issues. For example, in 2007 and 2008, it emphasized work in Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. All of these states passed significant energy efficiency legislation, with additional legislation and regulations likely in some of them.
ACEEE also works on state policies that can potentially be adopted at the national level. For example, staff have worked with several states to develop state appliance and equipment efficiency standards, which have subsequently been adopted by Congress.
Research and Analysis
ACEEE devotes much of its resources to research and analysis in order to discern the best technical, program, and policy practices that promote efficient energy use, and to define the magnitude of benefits of energy efficiency. Research staff survey market trends and activities, analyze technical and economic potential for energy efficiency, seek to understand consumer energy decisions, and assess the potential for regulations, policies, and programs to achieve energy savings. ACEEE's research programs include:
- Buildings and equipment - ACEEE's oldest research program analyzes opportunities for energy efficiency in appliances and equipment; building design, construction, and operation; and programs and policies that encourage consumers to make energy-efficient product choices.
- Utilities - Serves as the principal documenter and reviewer of publicly funded energy efficiency programs and supporting policies, preparing regular surveys of best practices and supporting implementers and regulators in designing the next generation of programs and policies.
- Transportation - Tracks vehicle technology and estimates the potential for future energy efficiency. In addition, the program explores technologies and policies that encourage changes in personal and freight transportation markets to further reduce energy use.
- Industry - Applies unique experience in energy efficiency for the manufacturing sector (including distributed energy resources such as combined heat and power), and assesses technologies, practices, programs, and policies to achieve increased energy efficiency in manufacturing.
- Agriculture - Addresses the unique energy efficiency program and policy needs of farms and rural communities through assessment of energy use patterns, and opportunities for more energy efficiency practices and technologies.
- Economic analysis - Encourages the use of sound economic modeling practices, studies the impacts of energy policies on the economy, and projects the economic benefits of energy efficiency technologies, practices, and policies.
- State analysis - Cross-program effort that combines expertise from other research programs to assess state energy policies, analyze the potential for energy efficiency at the state level, and collect key resources to support state policymakers, program implementers, and efficiency advocates.
- International - Works with colleagues from transitional economies to adapt technology, program, and policy experiences from the United States to these economies.
ACEEE attempts to reach out to and inform diverse audiences in a variety of ways:
ACEEE holds several conferences each year that aim to bring together disparate stakeholders to focus on multiple aspects of energy efficiency and the role it plays in addressing critical issues such as climate change, energy resources, utility structure and regulation, and energy use in buildings, industry, and agriculture. Recent conferences include:
- 2009 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry
- 2008 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
- Hot Water Forum: Water Heating, Distribution, and Use Efficiency
- Energy Efficiency Finance Forum
- National Symposium on Market Transformation
- Forum on Energy Efficiency and Agriculture
- Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference (BECC)
- National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource
ACEEE provides research and technical analysis of current energy efficiency policies and practices, as well as forecasting future trends. These publications include research reports, consumer books, white papers, legislative testimony, and conference proceedings. Major recent ACEEE reports include:
- Energizing Virginia: Efficiency First
- The Size of the U.S. Energy Efficiency Market: Generating a More Complete Picture
- Compendium of Champions: Chronicling Exemplary Energy Efficiency Programs from Across the U.S.
- The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard
- Information and Communication Technologies: The Power of Productivity
- Assessment of the House Renewable Electricity Standard and Expanded Clean Energy Scenarios
ACEEE shares its work online by providing publications and conference presentations on the internet. While not a consumer-focused organization, ACEEE has several web resources devoted to educating consumers about making wise energy efficiency choices relating to their homes and their vehicles, through:
- Consumer Guide Online (based on Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings)
- GreenerCars.org (Online presence of ACEEE's Green Book: The Environmental Guide to Cars and Trucks)
ACEEE convenes primary stakeholders in discussions and networking opportunities through policy briefings, webinars covering recent published research and analysis, and one-to-one interaction with staff and Board members
ACEEE's sources of funding from 2006 to 2007 were broken down as follows:
- Foundations (34%)
- Federal and state grants (7%)
- Specific contract work (21%)
- Conferences and publications (34%)
- Contributions and other (4%)
- Efficient energy use
- Energy policy of the United States
- Energy conservation in the United States
- John A. "Skip" Laitner