Energy efficiency could bring South big payoff

The southern United States could reap major economic benefits if residents, businesses and industry embrace energy efficiency, a report released this week says.

The report, "Energy Efficiency in the South" by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, suggests a list of policy measures and says private and public sectors would have to work together. Should that happen, the report's authors contend: "In 2020, energy bills in the South would be reduced by $41 billion, electricity rate increases would be moderated, 380,000 new jobs would be created, and the region's economy would grow by $1.23 billion."

Likewise, the report says 8.6 billion gallons of freshwater could be conserved in 2020 because of reduced cooling needs.

"Water savings alone should grab the interest of many of the elected officials in southern states, many of whom face projected increases in population with limited supplies of water," said Ben Tribbett, founder of "Not Larry Sabato" blog, on the Huffington Post. "Mark Twain once remarked, 'Whiskey's for drinking, water's for fighting about' in reference to water scarcity in the West, but such a remark rings just as true today."

Certainly in California. Think Westlands. Clean energy could do well in the Valley.
Photo: Atlanta from North Avenue Bridge.