The energy debate can get complicated, convoluted, and contentious. It is time to bring it back to basics with a few simple questions:
True or False? New and existing commercial and residential buildings account for about 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption.
True. Business Roundtable believes improving energy efficiency, particularly in buildings is an achievable, action-oriented solution that will produce real results. While energy efficiency may not be the most novel or innovative idea on the table of energy solutions, learning to use energy wisely is one of the best approaches we, consumers, government and business, can all practice to help secure America's energy future.
True or False? Energy efficiency improvements in new and existing residential and commercial buildings could lead to improvements between 30 and 50 percent in such areas.
True. However, achieving these targets will require multiple strategies for new and existing buildings, including creating meaningful incentives that encourage and reward decision makers for choosing energy efficiency while strengthening codes and standards for new buildings and adopting codes and standards for retrofits of existing buildings. There is also a need to increase awareness among builders, consumers, developers and others, that building energy efficient homes is the right thing to do because it results in fewer emissions and homes with smaller environmental footprints.
In June, we released our first comprehensive energy blueprint, which provided recommendations on how the nation can enhance energy security within the next 20 years. Being "more efficient" is one of the core themes outlined in our report and plays a significant role in helping reach that common goal.
True or False? The Pink Panther promotes energy efficiency.
True. Not only does the Pink Panther star in insulation commercials, he has his own Save Energy Blog where he writes about energy efficiency and answers consumer questions. This is one of many reasons why you could say "Pink is Green." When you hear "Pink" you should think Owens Corning and building efficiency. A leading company in home building products and Roundtable member, Owens Corning has a heritage founded on innovation. In the early 1990's Owens Corning set aggressive goals to reduce their energy intensity and in the past 14 years has reduced the company's energy intensity by nearly 40 percent.
Through their innovative technologies, like their PINK Fiberglass insulation, QuietZone® Noise Control Solutions, and Cultured Stone® Veneer, Owens Corning products make a positive impact on the environment and lead to effective, significant energy efficiency improvements in homes and businesses.
For example, their PINK fiberglass insulation saves 12 times more energy in its first year of use than the energy used to manufacture it and at least 35 percent of the product is made from recycled content. By working with local communities, their employees and investors, Owens Corning is making a real impact in leading the world in a more energy-efficient, comfortable and beautiful direction.
True or False? The single most cost-effective measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is building insulation.
True. That was one of the findings in a recent study that developed a global cost curve for 25 greenhouse-gas abatement measures going beyond "business as usual." The study found that building insulation led the list by a significant margin.
True or False? The U.S. could save up to 3 million blimps full of CO2 emissions if all under-insulated attics in the U.S. were insulated to the Department of Energy standard.
True. Improving energy efficiency and insulation are real, actionable ways consumers and business can reduce our environmental footprint.
While government programs need to play a critical role in promoting energy efficiency improvements, it is clear business can also make a significant contribution. Business Roundtable and its members are committed to fostering a sustainable global environment by promoting broader awareness of energy efficiency opportunities and innovative energy management and education programs.
Let's keep it simple. If "Pink" has always been green, think of the possibilities by improving our nation's energy efficiency and the impact we can have on tackling our country's imminent energy crisis.
Image credit:: THE PINK PANTHER (tm) & (c) 1964-2007 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., All Rights Reserved.