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Utility Sector Leaders Make Firm Commitment to Energy Efficiency

More than 80 energy, environmental and other organizations announced commitments and public statements in support of the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NAPEE), released today, which provides energy consumers and providers information on policies and techniques to save money as well as protect the environment. By adopting the plan's recommendations on low-cost, under-used energy efficiency, Americans could save hundreds of billions of dollars on their gas and electric utility bills, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and lower the costs for energy and pollution controls.

"President Bush is helping change the way America powers its homes and businesses by lifting the barriers blocking investments in energy efficiency," said EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. "Smart power technology avoids greenhouse gas emissions, protects our nation's energy security, and saves money - a hat trick for our environment and our wallets."

"Taking action to support the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency is a great step towards maximizing energy efficiency, while also answering the president's call to be mindful of energy consumption," Kevin Kolevar, DOE director of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability said.

The action plan was developed with assistance from the Department of Energy and U.S. EPA. It provides five recommendations for helping states and utilities overcome policy, regulatory, and other barriers that limit investment in energy efficiency even when investment in more efficient homes, buildings and industries would cost less than new supply and would lead to overall lower energy bills.

The recommendations include: recognize energy efficiency as a high-priority energy resource; make a strong, long-term commitment to implement cost-effective energy efficiency as a resource; broadly communicate the benefits of and opportunities for energy efficiency; promote sufficient, timely, and stable program funding to deliver energy efficiency where cost-effective; and modify policies to align utility incentives with the delivery of cost-effective energy efficiency and modify ratemaking practices to promote energy efficiency investments. The plan builds upon best practices from successful efficiency programs already operating in many areas, to remove barriers that have limited utilities, states and customers from pursuing cost-effective energy efficiency resources.

The action plan was developed by a leadership group of more than 50 organizations, which was co-chaired by Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy and president of the Edison Electric Institute, and Commissioner Diane Munns, member of the Iowa Public Utility Board and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. The leadership group includes 23 electric and gas utilities, 16 state agencies, and 12 other organizations, with 15 organizations observing the work of the leadership group.

As part of today's announcement, 72 stakeholders across 33 states announced commitments to take action within their own organizations to increase investment in energy efficiency.

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