From an article by Larry Bivins in the Wausau Daily Herald:
WASHINGTON — In the absence of a national policy that puts a cap on carbon emissions, some environmental activists see an opportunity to place more emphasis on efficiency as part of the solution to climate change.
Advocates say the potential benefits to the environment, the economy and individual pocketbooks cannot be ignored.
One 2007 study estimates the U.S. could reap $1.2 trillion in electricity savings by investing $520 billion in energy efficiency measures by 2020.
In Wisconsin, a 2009 report by the Energy Center of Wisconsin said the state could create 7,000 to 9,000 jobs by 2012 and generate $900 million in savings by tripling its investment in energy efficiency.
President Barack Obama’s administration set aside $16.8 billion in economic recovery act money for research and development, building retrofits, renewable energy projects and weatherization, among other things.
Wisconsin was awarded a $20 million grant in April for its Wisconsin Energy Efficiency (WE2) program to retrofit commerical, industrial and residential buildings.
“Wisconsin has made big steps forward in recent years through energy conservation, energy efficiency and by investing in a clean energy economy,” Gov. Jim Doyle said in a statement declaring October to be Energy Awareness Month. “Through greater awareness we can continue to increase our energy independence, save money for families and businesses and create thousands of new clean-energy jobs in Wisconsin.”