Supporting standards program can yield Olympic-sized energy savings

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If you watched the ceremony of this year's Olympic Games a couple of weeks back, you couldn't have failed to notice the section focused on the problem of global warming and climate change.
 
To all those in the industry, it was a proud moment – even if the message of the video, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Judi Dench, was about the challenges facing the planet.
 
The event drew an interesting response from Lauren Urbanek, ‎Senior Energy Policy Advocate at Natural Resources Defense Council.
In a blog post, she wrote about some of the NRDC's work on mitigating the global threats of climate change. She highlights the "huge amount of energy saved" in the United States as a result of the standards put in place during the Obama administration.
 
In particular, standards for the US's appliances and equipment, adopted between 1987 and this year, are producing $2 trillion in cumulative utility bill saving – enough to fund 160 more Olympic Games at the scale of the Rio Games, according to Urbanek's maths.
 
She then went on look at the potential for even more savings, with future updates to appliance, equipment, and lighting efficiency standards able to cut climate emissions by the annual equivalent of 60 coal-fired power plants and lower consumer utility bills by $65 billion a year by 2050, according to a report by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
 
Therefore, efforts must be made to support the standards program, by: investing in improved test procedures, expanding the scope of national standards to products like plug loads or other types of pumps and motors; considering how standards contribute to systems-level savings; and accounting for the savings from advances in connected equipment.
 
Bringing it back to the Olympics, Urbanek concludes: "As countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe become more urbanized and emit more of the harmful carbon pollution fuelling climate change, energy-efficiency standards can help reduce those emissions, making us all winners."
 
Energy efficiency Rio Olympics 

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