TexasIsHot – Energy Efficiency

Room for Improvement – Texas is well positioned to lead the charge – with innovative programs and products coming to the market.

New report ranks Texas in the middle of the pack in terms of state energy efficiency leadership. Moving forward, Texas is well positioned to lead the charge – with innovative programs and products coming to the market.

Earlier this month, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a comprehensive state energy efficiency policy Scorecard to “document best practices, recognize leadership among the states, and provide a roadmap for other states to follow.” Scorecard points of note:

  • State budgets for energy efficiency in 2009 are almost double the level of spending in 2007, increasing from $2.5 billion to $4.3 billion.
  • Electricity savings from energy efficiency programs across all states increased 8% between 2007 and 2008 (the most recent available data).

Texas is Well Positioned Moving Forward…
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin

While Texas’ ranking needs improvement – because of our state’s size and energy presence – Texas is well positioned to continue be a leader in energy efficiency and energy innovation moving forward. And a recent report showed that education campaigns (such as TexasIsHot) to promote behavioral changes like lowering the thermostat in winter – could save more than 120 million metric tons of carbon emissions a year. That’s 7.4% of total U.S. emissions—and more than the total emissions of France.

Just a few recent examples of Texas’ energy efficiency leadership:

  • Four Texas cities ranked among 50 major metropolitan markets for plug-in electric vehicle readiness - including Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio – with Austin and Houston ranking among the top of the list.
  • Four Texas cities (out of 22 across the country) were named “2010 Smarter Cities” for their investment in green power, energy efficiency measures and conservation by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s online resource center — Austin, Dallas, El Paso and Denton.
  • Oncor will replace more than 3 million existing meters in its service area with new smart meters by 2012. The company currently installs 3,500 new meters each day. The Dallas area has already seen a reported 10 percent reduction in overall energy consumption since the installation began in 2008.
  • CenterPoint Energy and Ford Motor Company recently announced a collaboration to help prepare the Houston area for the operation of electric vehicles - long term, CenterPoint hopes to leverage and showcase the company’s smart meter and intelligent grid deployment coupled with Ford’s smart charging solutions.
  • Austin Energy recently unveiled a new green home incentive plan called “Best Offer Ever”which will pay an estimated 42 percent of the cost to make whole-house energy efficiency improvements, up from the regular 20 percent rebate.

October Is Energy Awareness Month — Here Are 5 Things to Be Aware of:

  1. The Federal Tax Credit for residential energy efficient products or renewable energy systems is available through Dec. 31, 2010.
  2. A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient.
  3. By the end of the year there will be at least three-four electric vehicles arriving in dealer showrooms. These cars are driven by batteries, and instead of going to the pump you plug them into the wall!
  4. Even though Texas is typically hot…now is the time to winterize your home! Some key tips:
    A. Clean your heating filters
    B. Check and maintain home insulation
    C. Turn down the thermostat by five degrees to lower utility bills
    D. Find and seal your air leaks
    E. Have your heating system serviced
  5. Encourage five friends to subscribe to TexasIsHot!
  • "“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
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