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Report: Energy Efficiency Could Earn WYO Families $300

February 25, 2010

CASPER, Wyo. - Conservation groups backing new federal energy efficiency standards have been saying for months that the move would save money for Wyoming families. Those against such legislation say it would cost consumers more. It turns out both are right, according to new research from the Consumer Federation of America.

Report author Mark Cooper crunched the numbers. He compared the costs of better appliances and insulation against the price of electricity and natural gas and found a bottom-line savings. The biggest stack of bucks saved came from a 30 percent increase in efficiency.

"Now, it's not free - you have to spend money to make money. On net, however, you'll end up at the end of the year with $300 more in your pocket."

Residents of states with higher utility costs, like Connecticut, could see savings of closer to $600 a year, Cooper says. He points out that he based his numbers on assessments from federal research and organizations not lobbying for - or against - energy legislation.

Cooper explains that efficiency is simply a profitable investment.

"The cost of getting more efficiency into the building - more insulation, higher-efficiency appliances and so forth - is less than the cost of consuming the energy."

The full report, "Building on the Success of Energy Efficiency Programs to Ensure an Affordable Energy Future," is available at www.consumerfed.org.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY