Carbon rule thrusts energy efficiency into the limelight

June 19, 2014

Energy reporters were all abuzz this spring in anticipation of the release of the Environmental Projection Agency’s draft regulations on power plant emissions. In the days leading up to the release, news coverage framed the story as a battle between coal vs. clean energy interests, with little to no coverage of energy efficiency.

When the ruling came out on June 2nd, the story began to change. In advance of the ruling, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a series of reports proving that energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest and most readily available resource to states and utilities looking to reduce carbon pollution and boost the economy.

Rising above the coal vs. clean energy fray, ACEEE took an energy-agnostic view in its analysis, and focused on the whole scale benefits of ramping up energy efficiency nationwide, regardless of what energy sources states used to fill in the gaps. The point being, by reducing energy use to the levels that ACEEE found achievable, states could meet EPA carbon reduction standards by 2030 and inject billions of dollars back into the economy. What’s not to love about that?

Resource Media helped ACEEE with the rollout of its reports. Media response to the most recent, Change is in the Air: How States Can Harness Energy Efficiency to Strengthen the Economy and Reduce Pollution, has been outstanding! Across print, online and broadcast in at least 17 states, media stories have reached more than 2.5 million people, including trade and industry audiences. It also generated significant buzz on Twitter.

Media coverage reflected ACEEE’s strategic positioning, by staying mostly agnostic about which energy sources states choose to use (“Energy Efficiency: Peacemaker in War on Coal?”), and keeping energy efficiency nonpartisan, as covered by the Idaho Statesman.

Timing these reports in the weeks leading up to the widely anticipated carbon rule also provided a springboard of support for EPA, and positioned ACEEE as a go-to media source.

We applaud ACEEE for its successful media outreach campaign and feel honored to have been a part of it!

Aileo Weinmann and Debbie Slobe

Photo credit: Will Thomas via Flickr/Creative Commons