WASHINGTON, July 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the face of national political gridlock and inaction on energy reform, Americans from all walks of life and across the political spectrum are getting on with the job of building our nation's new energy future, according to a new report.
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Powering Up America: The Revolution Began Yesterday highlights the untold story of the clean energy revolution already unfolding outside the Beltway. Combining extensive national reporting with in-depth, on-the-ground case studies, the report shows how mayors and mothers, engineers and policymakers, students, teachers, full-time activists, corporate leaders, and military officials are building our nation's new energy economy.
Moreover, contrary to popular belief the report finds that in many cases political conservatives are leading the way in revolutionizing America's energy habits. To underscore this point, and to highlight new models for making clean energy cost effective and environmentally beneficial, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), co-chairs of the House Energy Savings Performance Caucus, will host a briefing in conjunction with the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. The Powering Up America report will be officially released at the July 24th briefing, which will be held at 441 Cannon House Office Building from 11:00 to noon. Speakers include Young Conservatives for Energy Reform president Michele Combs, national security expert and CNA's Military Advisory Board member Gen. Ronald Keys, and entrepreneur Robert Hanfling, executive chairman of Silver Bullet, a Colorado company working to cut energy and water use.
"Americans are making smart choices about energy efficiency and are saving money in the process. These common sense choices have a positive impact on both the economy and the environment. And they do it without any costly government mandates," Gardner said.
"In an era of partisan gridlock, energy efficiency is a practical, common sense idea where Democrats and Republicans can find common ground. We may disagree on sources of energy, we can all agree that using less energy is a win-win-win for the consumer, the economy and the environment," said Welch.
"What's unique about our report is that it brings you the voices of everyday Americans who are discovering the many economic advantages of energy efficiency and clean energy in ways that will surprise and inspire you," said Tremaine Foundation president Stewart Hudson. "That may not be the story you're hearing out of Washington, but it is the story of real Americans across the nation."
"Powering Up," defined by the report as making energy more productive, asserting more control over energy, and demanding newer, high tech, cleaner domestic energy sources, is being supported and accelerated by forward-thinking state and local officials and everyday citizens across the nation. Additional findings, presented through an interactive e-magazine, website and report, include:
- The Great Recession has motivated Americans to increase energy efficiency and invest in alternative, homegrown energy to find ways to save money on energy bills. As a result, today's consumers are spending less on energy, making energy more productive, and channeling some of their savings back into local economies.
- On average, U.S. homes and businesses reduce energy waste by 2 percent a year – double what conventional economists predicted just a decade ago.
- K-12 schools show dramatic energy productivity progress, with administrators mining a rich vein of power-saving potential. The nation's 133,000 K-12 schools annually spend $7.5 billion on energy. Today, thousands of these institutions are pioneering new methods for reducing utility bills and freeing up money for education.
- The U.S. military, the nation's single largest energy consumer, is also in the vanguard of the clean-energy revolution. Over the past decade, the nation's armed forces have moved quickly to adopt clean energy sources, while improving energy productivity by 13.3 percent over a 2003 baseline – twice the rate of the rest of the national economy.
- Despite America's success in making energy more productive, consumers are still paying more than we should for our electricity, primarily because of how much energy we waste. We, as a nation, still waste a shocking 86 percent of the energy we consume. This energy is lost mostly through escaped heat as electricity is generated, transmitted, and distributed, and represents a huge drag on our economy.
- Experts predict that a determined policy of efficiency investments could lead to the creation of almost two million new jobs, while saving consumers the equivalent of $2,600 per household per year.
- The surprisingly rapid recent growth of distributed energy – including on-site solar and wind power and combined heat-and-power systems – is contributing to a boom in energy productivity. In 2012, for instance, more than 16 million solar panels were installed on U.S. homes and business – two panels for every second of the working day.
Powering Up America features nine in-depth case studies of energy efficiency and clean energy adoption in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, three states with dramatically different energy profiles. They include on-site interviews describing a net-zero-energy child-care center at the U.S. Marines' recruiting depot in South Carolina, Crayola Crayon's solar farm at their factory in Pennsylvania, energy efficiency and clean energy improvements residences, businesses, and governmental buildings and facilities across Connecticut, and much more.
Learn more about how everyday citizens are Powering Up America:
About The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation
The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) funds innovative projects that advance solutions to basic and enduring problems. With an overall emphasis on education, principally in the United States, we take an active role in support for contemporary visual art and artists, environment and clean energy, and support for those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
Contacts: Roxanna Smith or Sarah Golden
SOURCE Tremaine Foundation