The failure of the Department of Energy to meet any of the 34 energy efficiency deadlines that date back to the 1990s will cost U.S. consumers more than $28 billion in extra energy costs by 2030. So far, the DoE has only successfully reached 11 of the 34 program goals, but none in a timely fashion.
That’s the bottom line in a study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in cooperation with estimates by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The first day of March, Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.) gave the opening remarks for the GAO’s analysis of efficiency standards for appliances. He called the findings “a blistering indictment of a culture of incompetence and delay” within the DOE programs.
His words ring true no matter how you cut the numbers: $28 billion lost in consumer savings, use of an additional estimated 2.1 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) of natural gas and 1.2 quads of electricty. Oh, and 53 million tons of future carbon dioxide emissions – which is about 1 percent of total U.S. emissions in 2004.
Once again, we can cut emissions. We have chosen not to.