Energy production and use is one of the primary causes of climate change, accounting for a whopping two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Increasing energy efficiency – accomplishing the same output with less energy use - is a cost-effective way to combat climate change – the low-hanging fruit of climate action. Energy efficiency not only slows climate change, it also saves companies money, boosts job creation, and limits harmful power plant pollution.
Although this commitment deals primarily with energy efficiency, we would be remiss if we did not also touch on the growing push towards increasing “energy productivity”. Energy productivity is the same basic concept as energy efficiency viewed through a financial lens – it refers to the economic output from each unit of energy and is measured in $ per unit of energy.
Businesses and governments around the globe are currently aligning efforts to double energy productivity by 2030 which could save $327 billion annually in energy costs and add 1.3 million jobs to the American economy. On a global level, doubling energy productivity by 2030 has the potential to contribute six million jobs while reducing the cost of fossil fuels by nearly $2.2 trillion.
What is expected of companies that commit to increasing energy efficiency?
Companies will track their energy use, create a baseline, set clear reduction targets and implement practices to reduce energy use and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Most companies begin the process by performing an energy audit to identify opportunities to increase energy efficiency throughout their facilities and operations (transportation is covered separately in the Transportation Commitment)
Some of the ways businesses can increase energy efficiency and productivity include:
- Improving the efficiency of building envelopes to reduce energy needed for heating and cooling;
- Improving the efficiency of lighting sources;
- Improving efficiency of HVAC, processing equipment and process controls; and
- Reusing waste gases (waste heat recovery) in manufacturing processes.
Energy reduction targets can be framed as either absolute reductions or reductions that are normalized per unit of production such as per tons shipped, per dollars of revenue produced or other relevant business metric.
Companies committing to increasing energy efficiency will be expected to complete an annual online questionnaire updating the Climate Collaborative on progress made toward the commitment. The questionnaire will be short and should not be burdensome to complete.
How can the Climate Collaborative Help?
The Climate Collaborative will facilitate networking and information sharing by convening peer-to-peer learning opportunities. We will compile an expanded list of resources, guidelines, and best practices to enhance information sharing and expedite the learning process.
We plan to host webinars highlighting case studies and corporate leadership in energy efficiency and energy productivity on topics such as green buildings, energy tracking, industrial and process efficiencies, refrigeration, and more.
Please let us know your needs and interests.
Resources & Tools
Tools and guidelines to measure, benchmark, and finance building and manufacturing plant-based energy efficiencies:
- EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager
- Buildings Energy Efficiency – Berkeley Lab
- Industrial Energy Analysis – Berkeley Lab Energy Technologies Area
- Emerging Technologies – Energy.gov
- Energy Star Building Upgrade Financing Manual
Support for energy productivity:
- Forum for best practices and case studies - EP 100
- Roadmap to double energy productivity (Parts 1-3) - Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030
- About Energy Efficiency and Energy 2030 - Alliance to Save Energy
- Why Energy productivity? - Global Alliance for Energy Productivity
- Energy productivity, low carbon transition reports - Energy Transition Commission