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The thesis critically looked into the concept of adopting of federal Energy Efficiency Resources Standard policies in the various states in the United States of America. The objectives of the study were to find out the states that successfully adopted the policy and to determine the advantages of the policies ones adopted so that other states that have not implemented the policy are encouraged to do so.
Both qualitative and quantitative methods/designs were employed during the study. Data required were solicited and collected from primary as well as secondary sources. To acquire primary data, direct observation, questionnaire and interviews were used. Secondary data were obtained from published textbooks, magazines, pamphlets, journals and theses of other researchers. Internet also served this same purpose of secondary data collection.
Collected data was analyzed using parametric as well as non parametric statistic and the results presented by using tables, charts and graphs.
The result indicated that the policy on energy efficiency standards has the ability in both short term and long term to arrest the myriad of problems in the United States of America. Reduction in energy consumption and subsequently low energy costs, reduced pollution due to use of clean energy source (reduced global warming), stimulate local economic growth, creating employment opportunities, increase energy reliability in the future, reduced oil importation are among the benefits of adopting the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard policy.
On the other hand, there are problems and challenges facing the entire process; being an expensive venture in terms of implementing the policy, educating the public, monitoring and evaluating the program, lower energy consumption reduces the revenue collected by the utilities and finally new problems may a rise and since there is no past experience in handling the same, it creates a challenge.
There is therefore need to ensure that the remaining states adopt the energy efficiency resource standard polices so that the mentioned merits of adopting the policy is felt in the entire United States of America
With multiple problems facing the united states such as economic recession in the recent past leading to decreased job opportunities, global warming and changing climatic conditions as well as trying to find ways to help Americans save money, the adoption of adoption and implementation of a federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) an equivalent of renewable energy standard (RES) has been thought to be an effective as both short and long term solutions to these problems (Office of the Ohio consumers' counsel, 2007). Implementation of the standard has been proved beyond doubts that it promotes fruitful investments.
Energy Efficiency Resource Standard has been referred as a flexible means or mechanism which ensures that utilities implement or espouse energy efficiency as a cost - effective source of energy and at the same time being clean. Any federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard demands that natural gas and electricity utilities rescue those who consume their products by reducing energy use by a predetermined value as well as increasing energy amount each year on the basis of percentage of all energy sold.
The adoption has seen to it that energy consumption in various states have reduced; other advantages include lower energy costs, encouraging local economic development, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, give consumers more control over their usage of energy, reduced global warming, creation of job opportunities, improved energy reliability as well as reducing pollution if the concept is adopted in the entire U.S.A. A number of states totaling to 19 in America has adopted this standards and include New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota to mention but a few (Laitner Et al. 2009). Other states such as Florida, Rhode Island, Iowa, New Jersey and Massachusetts are seriously thinking of adopting the policy.
Its worth noting that various other countries such as Russia, South Africa, Bosnia, Ukraine, China, India, Mexico among others have adopted the EERS.
Continuous increase in energy demand as a result of increase in human population, businesses and manufacturing industries, global warming due to emission of green house gases especially carbon dioxide, decrease in employment opportunities as a result of recent economic recession, the need to ensure availability and reliability of energy in the future and over dependence on non renewable sources of energy have raised concerns about future survival of the united states of America. For this reason, former vice president of America Gore said and I quote, "The survival of the united states of America as we know it is at risk".
To address these problems Gore suggested that the country produces all of its energy from renewable and carbon free sources. United States then turned to alternative sources of energy (wind and solar power, ethanol) amid the concerns raised above. It worth noting that this did not broke into the conventional because of numerous roadblocks, for instance solar energy is expensive and available only when wind blows.
This made relevant authorities and all stakeholders to turn to policies that would ensure that energy utilities implement or espouse energy efficiency as a cost - effective source of energy and at the same time being clean, hence adoption of a federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard policies. The policy had the potential of lowering energy consumption and costs, encouraging local economic development, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, give consumers more control over their usage of energy, reduced global warming, creation of job opportunities, improved energy reliability as well as reducing pollution.
In the early 1990s many governments began the process of reducing the cost of energy that are facing the consumers and business operators in there respective countries that is as a result of the increasing environmental crisis that was at the time very high in the countries mostly the developed countries the are highly industrious, the joint cooperation between these countries governments and the environmental experts have invented ways that will help in the reducing the rates of carbon emissions that are contributors of Global warming.
implementations of these energy consumption are set in order to benefit the consumer of the energy and reduce the reliance of Oil products as research reveals that the amount of Oil that is being experienced in the world at the moment is reducing, as the demand for the product is on the increase while the amount that is remaining in the world at the moment is very low and isn't capable to cater for the needs of the people for the products.
For successful implementation of this program, the introduction of energy-efficiency appliances, consumer education, incentives for commercial lighting, industrial improvements and the auditing of energy and weather as some aspects that are assumed in order to realize the program is a success in the countries that are planning to implement this method of energy consumption and conservation, and it is from these measures that the joint efforts between the governments of the respective countries and the environmental and energy departments that the creation of the policy Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standards was realized as these policy was to be us dib the implementation of the safe, clean and cheap energy that can also recycled for use later.
The program has resulted to the to a reduction in the consumption of energy, resulting to the construction of 300-megawatt power plants that generates power to the that alternates the reliance in the consistence power, the introduction of this program is stated to reduce the utility budget by nearly half, research ahs also indicated that with the introduction of this program the budget of the state has reached $5.3 billion in the year 2009, and with the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard programs this will encourage the energy the efficiency in all the states and encourage a wide spread implementation of this
Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard is a mechanism that is set to encourage a more effective ways of conserving, transmitting and the use of energy, all this apply to both Natural gas and electricity, and it is the fastest, cleanest and cheapest way of sourcing energy, it is a policy implemented at state levels, as a way of sensitizing and encouraging the energy users on the benefits and various ways of conserving energy, it encourages the conservation of energies such as Gas, Coal and Electric (EERS, 2010).
Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard is a policy that is ventured in order to realize the use of natural sources of energy with the attempts to conserve the environment and the use of the most available resources to produce energy, this includes the use of Solar, Wind and Hydroelectric energy, all this are in attempts to reduce the dependence in Oil products and to conserve the Environment as the power stations that produce their power from burning coal will slowly be eliminated, they are believed to contribute in the global warming.
All the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard includes the participation of the energy users to encourage the improvements that are aided and documented by the utilization or other programs that are supposed to be implemented to facilitate in the energy conservation process, the implementation of the energy conservation were there is an improvement in the combined heat and power in the systems introducing high-efficiency generation system.
In most cases Energy Efficiency Resource Standard is assumed to be similar to Renewable Energy Standard, but they all are different thing all together as the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard is aimed at the reduction of the percentage of energy consumed while Renewable Energy Standard is to determines the percentage of energy that is being generated form a renewed sources of energy, the introduction of this has in a way permitted the market to realize a low cost saving, and the spread of this projects through out 50 states, many research that has been conducted into these states, provided a conservation of around 20 or more% of energy save.
These Energy Efficiency Resource Standard have been in practice in various countries such as Britain, Belgium and Italy France is about to adapt to these regulation that are aimed at the reducing the cost and save the energy consumption of the people.
Many questions have been asked and are still being asked on why this policy was adopted, and research has concluded the possible importance of the policy as required by the national government to ensure that each state employs the energy conservation measures, with the increase in the rate of carbon dioxide emotions into the air by the numerous states (Nadel, 2006). The states have opted to reduce the rates of carbon emotions into the air of these states in attempts to conserve the environment.
The reason that led to the adoption of these policy are varied, but there are some basic reasons that led to the implementation of the policy, and they are as follows, the first one being for purposes of the conservation of the environment, the increase of the emotion of carbon dioxide in the air has posed a big threat to the living organisms in the universe as the emitted carbon results to global warming, this is were clogs into the atmosphere exposing the living beings in to extreme heat that they aren't adapted to this has resulted to environmentalists being concerned with the future state of the universe, in attempts of conserving the future universe the policy is therefore adapted in attempts to reduce the amount of carbon that is being released into the atmosphere this are all attempts of reducing the heat that being experienced in the universe today, this will to a greater extent reduce the rate of greenhouse emissions by 262 million metric tons at the same time eliminating the need for the construction of power plants that generate energy from the burning of coal.
Another reason that has resulted to the implementation of these policy, is for the purpose of saving the amount of energy that is being consumed and at the same time increasing the output that is being generated, this is because of the economic crisis that is currently being experienced in the world today, there are several attempts in helping people save on expenditure, according to the proposals that were presented by Edward Markey of the House of Representatives and Senator Charles Schumer of the senate, these acts that are known as "Save American Energy Acts" the two bills calls for the distribution of the policy throughout America in order for the country to experience a conservation of 10% in natural gas and 15% in electricity that will be experienced by the year 2020.
In the states that have already adapted to this policy, research indicates efficient improvement on the average cost of electricity, as an individual will save up to 4.55 cents per kilowatt per hour as compared to the times before where an individual would spend 7 to 13 cents per kilowatt per hour from convectional electricity generation.
Research also revels that the Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard would be able to power approximately 48 million households in the United States of America by the year 2020, this will account for around 36% of the total households in the region, and it will save the American citizens around $170 Billion and at the same time creating over 220,000 jobs to the rapidly growing unemployed population.
Economists have argued that the introduction of Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard would play a big role in the Boosting of the Americas deteriorating economy, by supporting their arguments stating that, the rampant economy crisis that is being experienced in the United States and the world over is as a result of the rapid growth of unemployment, and with these increasing numbers its is becoming very difficult for the government to raise revenue that would enable it to run its activities swiftly (Furrey & Nadel, 2003).
The introduction of Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, also increases the economy of a country as the cost of energy will be down this in return will enable the customer to venture into other business activities that will in some way provide employment to the other citizens, and also raise revenue that will be collected by the government and in the return this will boost the economy as the government will be able to provided good services to its citizens.
The introduction of Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard has facilitated the creation of new energy production stations that, this will also provide employment opportunity to the people that will be operating these systems and in one way the economic levels will be raised as most of the countries citizens will be employed.
The introduction of the policy will increase the number of industries in the country; the increased number of industries will provide employment chances to the people and at the same time increase the revenue that is collected by the counties and the government this will promote the growth of the economy as lots of the industries in the areas will provide revenue to there respective counties.
The implementation of the Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard will also play an important role in Protecting our national security, with an incidents such as the war in Iraq were the country was denied the access to oil from Iraq as they two countries were at loggerhead this instances would prove to be unfortunate to America, but with the use of these policy it would be most efficient as the country would not be plunged into darkness for lack of its own sources of energy, in security maters the use of Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard will stop any terrorist attack on the country, as the people that will want to attack the country will have to use a different criteria of attacking because there will be a variety of stations that will be generating power apart from the conventional energy production were they are placed in strategic points that can be easily be noted and attacked by invaders (Alliance U.S. Newswire, 2009).
The implementation of Energy Efficiency Resource Standard will improve the reliability of energy to the consumers as they will be able to get energy without facing any interruptions that has always been associated with the contemporary sources of that were causing the consumer to encounter rampant energy shortages that caused loses to the business and inconveniencies to the customers therefore with the adoption of these policy the rates of the rampant power failures will be greatly reduced as the consumer will have alternative ways of energy this is especially form the conservation of the energy that is stored in the wet cells after the energy is taped from the solar and wind energies.
The implementation of this policy will be of benefit to the consumers because it will give the consumer the opportunity to determine the amount of energy they will consume, as compared to the past way of energy hence it will reduce the amount of bill payable as a result of the energy used.
The introduction of Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard policy will be of benefit to the consumer and the businesses, as it will require the businesses and consumers to use power efficient electrical appliances, the introduction of power efficient material/products such as the Television sets, Radios, bulbs among other electrical appliances that consume less amount of power will be of benefit to the consumers, as the electric compliances will consume less amounts of energy and they will reduce the amount that a consumer will pay for the energy that is consumed by the consumer, and the amount saved by the consumer will be used in a different way that will be aimed at the boosting of the countries economy.
The implementation of Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard policy will also reduce reliance on oil products, as the country uses a lot of oil products as there main source of energy, and most especially in the importing of the product from the OPEC countries (Raponline, 2010).The amount of money to be used by the country in the importing of these product can be used in other sectors in efforts of boosting the countries economy, and this is mostly applicable when the policy is adopted as the power that will be produced and used by the country will be basically from the country without them depending on other avenues of energy that is being imported from other countries.
In America there are a total of 52 states each with its own unique governance and ways of implementing its policies, around 19 states have adopted to the Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard while others are in the process of adapting to these program that will result to the country to realizes a great cut down costs in the expenditure on energy and at the same time it enhances the consumer to use safe, clean and recycled energy that is more reliable and convenient to the consumer and business owners.
In this section we are going to look at the states that have that have adapted to the Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard policy, in the past decade dozen of states in the United States adapted to the Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard policy that saw the cost of energy reduce as the bodies that implemented this program insisted in the realization of the new policy.
The first state that adopted this new policy was Texas, with the introduction of this method of energy conservation, with the states officials with an aim of reducing the costs of consumption incurred by the consumer by approximately 20 % from the initial 10% that they were paying for in energy consumption; analysts had also predicted that if these policy were not implemented soon the bills will increase to 30% to 50% (Smith, 2009).
In states like Ohio and Illinois only require the implementation of this program in order for the states to realize a rise in there savings on electricity by 2 % in Illinois it is reported that around 6500 new job opportunities will be realized and the utility will also reduce saving the state $3.6 billion in energy alone, while Michigan required 1 % of energy saving of electricity annually and a saving of 0.75% in natural gas.
In North Carolina State the implementation of this policy has resulted to an efficiency of 40% a rise from 25% being realized and analysts also predicted that around 6,500 new jobs will be created, as a result of the efforts of the implementation of the Federal Energy Efficiency Resource policy and the state realizing savings of over $3 billion in energy costs alone, Connecticut also have implemented this policy of as ways of reducing the expenditure of energy to the consumer as it had recently reviewed its Energy Efficiency Resource policy in efforts to add the amount of energy required by the customer and reduce the cost that would be paid by the customer, and this has enabled the state to realize an electricity efficiency of 1.2% in the year 2009 and that is expected to increase in the year 2010.
California on the other hand have also implemented the policy, the public utility commission has helped them set multi-year targets for natural and electric utility and this is usually based on the sturdy that the project is cost effective saving of this program, Vermont on the other hand has performed this activity with the implementation of an Energy Efficiency Resource policy that is independent and research also state that in Florida the amount of money that was saved as a result of the implementation of this policy was $14 billion and at the same time it created more than 19,500 employment opportunities to the citizens of the state.
Indiana states have adopted to this new Energy Efficiency Resource policy and it's projected that the introduction of this campaign has enabled the state to encounter employment openings for around 5000 citizens of the state and it also realized a saving of $3.6 billion in energy alone, Tennessee state is expected to experience a cut of about $3.5 billion on energy alone as the policy will also realize that the state creates more than 5000 new job opportunities to the residents of the states with all this new opportunities being experienced the economy of the country is expected to grow as lots of the billions that is saved will be ploughed back into the countries economy realizing great development levels (Nadel, 2009).
With the implementation of the policy in the entire country, analysts have found that the policy will come up with major benefits to the business and consumers in the country, in variety of ways including the reduction of carbon dioxide emotion into the atmosphere by around 262 million metric tones per year, creation over 570,000 jobs, the economy $1.2 trillion and the amount of power that will be saved will 90,000 MW.