TexasIsHot – Energy Efficiency

Appliances tips

Dec 21 2011

Energy Efficiency will Drive Utilities in the Future: Southern Co. Discusses How

Electricity is at the heart of the U.S. energy economy. And the numbers say so.

A report by the Manhattan Institute cites this fascinating statistic: In 1950, 20 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product was directly dependent on electricity. By 2008, that number had tripled to 60 percent. Additionally, the report states that over 85 percent of the U.S. energy growth since 1980 was met by electricity.

While the fabric of our energy landscape finds itself dependent on electricity rather than oil, this is favorable for energy supplied by domestic resources and supports growing energy independence and security.

As one of the largest producers of electricity in the country, Southern Company knows well the ever-increasing need for energy. And that demand continues to grow as new energy-efficient, cost-effective ways to electrify the United States are discovered.

In the Southeast, which we serve, there are several examples. One is the Georgia Port Authority in Savannah, the fourth-largest container port in the United States. A few years ago, the port converted some of its diesel equipment — ship-to-shore cranes and refrigerated cargo racks — to electric equipment. In 2009, port officials reported that this move reduced their diesel usage by more than 4 million gallons a year. The lower operating costs and emissions prompted the port to electrify even more of its equipment.

The Alabama State Port Authority electrified a major dredging project in Mobile, Ala., and reported a large fuel and emissions savings as well. The Electric Power Research Institute estimates that more than 28 tons of emissions of pollutants per day were avoided by using electric equipment, rather than diesel equipment, for this project.

Another example: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Inter- national Airport and Delta Air Lines are so satisfied with the results of converting equipment from diesel to electric that a charging infrastructure to support electric equipment is being integrated into Hartsfield’s new international terminal.

More Demand

These are just a few initiatives where substituting electro-technologies for other energy resources is great for consumers. It’s great for America as well. The United States spends $1 billion a day on foreign oil, while our electricity is made right here in America.

As plug-in electric vehicles become increasingly available, we expect to see even more demand for electricity. The primary factor driving today’s consumers to this latest electro-technology is cost. Both gasoline and diesel prices outweigh those of electricity. Based on gasoline prices in the Southeast and our average Southern Company retail rates, it’s estimated that electric vehicle owners in the Southeast will save about 60 percent of what they currently spend on gasoline.

In today’s world, energy efficiency must be a part of any energy discussion. We all agree that promoting the efficient and clean use of energy will benefit Americans, our environment, our economy and our national security.

At Southern Company, we try to help our customers use energy more efficiently. That doesn’t mean they necessarily will use less electricity, which is how some define energy efficiency. It means that we’re actively promoting ways to help them use every kilowatt-hour of electricity more wisely, taking advantage of better insulation, energy-efficient appliances and end-use technologies, for example.

As consumers continue to save money and overall energy by using electro-technologies rather than technologies powered by other energy resources, and as our environment and national security benefit as well, the electrification of the United States will continue to be the lifeblood of the economy.

Susan Story is chief executive of Southern Co. and management services. This story first appeared in EnergyBiz magazine can be found here: http://energybiz.com/magazine/article/243237/rising-role-electricity

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Testimonials
  • "“As the Texas population continues to grow, so will our energy consumption needs. We must have tools that empower the consumer to choose their products and monitor their usage wisely. TexasIsHot.org is a great resource, which is exactly what Texans need in today’s deregulated market.”" - State Rep. Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton), Chairman of House State Affairs Committee
  • "In order to meet our goals, we need programs like the TexasIsHot campaign to help change the way people think about energy." - State Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), Chairman of Senate Natural Resources Committee
  • "Texas leads the nation in wind power because it makes money, not because it makes us feel better. Texans are a practical, penny-wise people who I think will be happy to learn how to save a few bucks on their power bills with the common-sense advice at TexasIsHot.org."-Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
  • "If every Texas household adopted just a few of the dozens of energy efficiency strategies referenced on TexasIsHot.org, our air would be cleaner, our limited supply of natural resources would be better protected, and our wallets would be heavier..." Kip Averitt (R-Waco), Former State Senator and Chairman of Senate Committee on Natural Resources
  • ”The TexasIsHot campaign targets an important piece of the clean energy effort -- educating Texans on the way we use electricity and quantifying the financial and environmental costs associated with our use. By just reducing the amount of electricity we use and waste, TexasIsHot.org can show people how to save money..." State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin)
  • "Fluctuating energy costs are really hurting Texas families and businesses, but by just making a few easy changes, Texans can cut down on energy waste. TexasIsHot.org is a tremendous resource which arms consumers with the information they need to save themselves money by becoming more energy efficient, and help our environment." State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston)
  • "Texas is the third fastest growing state in the nation with a net growth of 1,000 people each and every day. This brings many challenges including providing clean and affordable electricity. That is why I'm excited about TexasIsHot.org. This website is an instructional resource that will help Texans save on their energy bills at home and in the workplace..." State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford)
  • "Now, more than ever, Texans need to work together to conserve energy and to make more efficient use of the energy we consume. The TexasIsHot.org website is an extraordinary resource for people who want to save money and help conserve our precious natural resources..." State Rep. Rafael Anchía (D-Dallas)
  • "By partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition we can extend our effort’s reach, leverage our resources, and ensure that Austin’s energy grid continues to be a test-bed for technologies, products, and services that will transform our state’s energy system." Brewster McCracken, Executive Director, Pecan Street Project
  • "The City of Houston is working harder than ever to make Houston green and energy efficient, but we need the help of every citizen. I would encourage everyone to take a moment to explore the TexasIsHot website to learn what we can all do to make Houston, and the rest of Texas, the green and energy efficient example for the rest of the nation." Mayor Annise Parker, Houston
  • "Energy efficiency is one of our top priorities. Partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition will help us educate citizens and local businesses about energy-efficient practices in order to meet our goal of reducing residential and commercial electric use." Gavin Dillingham, Chief of Sustainable Growth – General Services Department, for the City of Houston
  • "We are excited about the new partnership that the City of Corpus Christi has entered into with the TexasIsHot Coalition. TexasIsHot.org provides a platform to educate policy makers, city employees and citizens on how to save money and help the environment by conserving energy..." Mayor Joe Adame, Corpus Christi
  • "I am excited that the City of Corpus Christi has joined the TexasIsHot Coalition and look forward to working with them to help Texans become smarter energy users. Energy efficiency is by far the best way for people to reduce their bills and help the environment, but we need education and outreach to make this happen." State Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Jr (D-Corpus Christi)
  • "Because of its fast growth and hot summers, Texas has to get smarter about energy conservation. I applaud the efforts of Corpus Christi and TexasIsHot to help businesses and residents reap the benefits of increased efficiency." Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
  • "Energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest and cheapest way to get smart about energy use, saving both money and the environment. I applaud the TexasIsHot Coalition in their effort to educate Texans about the benefits of energy efficiency..." Luke Metzger, Director, Environment Texas
Get Connected

Enter your email address and receive tips and helpful info from Texasishot.org