The Benefits of a Smart Energy Economy in Massachusetts
In his recent State of Union address, President Barack Obama raised concerns surrounding climate change and highlighted the significant strides our country has made toward increased energy efficiency and renewable energy production. However, he acknowledged that we still have a long way to go to reach our long-term energy goals.
While federal policies and tax credits have played an important role in stimulating renewable energy development, policies and initiatives at the state level have been and will be central to pave the way forward for more renewable energy and energy efficiency.
When it comes to effective policies and incentives at the state level, Massachusetts has been a leader in innovation and investment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economyrecently recognized Massachusetts as the most energy efficient state, passing California for the second year in a row. In addition, the Patrick Administration made considerable progress over the past eight years developing regional and municipal incentives. As a result, we have a solid foundation for growth. But in order to maintain this success these efforts need to continue under the leadership of the new Baker administration.
During his gubernatorial campaign, Baker stated the following:
“As Governor, one of my top priorities will be ensuring Massachusetts has access to reliable and affordable sources of energy. I will pursue a balanced approach, that includes natural gas, wind, solar and hydroelectric generation, with a strong emphasis on efficiency to reduce the cost of energy and reduce our carbon footprint. I will also strongly encourage the clean energy innovation sector, which will have a positive benefit both for our economy and our environment.”
In order to achieve Governor Baker’s campaign vision for increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating jobs, the state must continue its ambitious approach.
Governor Baker has stressed efficiency and pragmatism as it relates to management and state government. This leadership perspective is the same spirit that is driving innovation in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. When we invest in our infrastructure to increase its reliability and efficiency, we allow homes, businesses and government to save money and reduce their carbon footprints.
According to the Alliance to Save Energy, energy efficiency is saving the American government, its citizens and businesses more than $500 billion a year in avoided energy costs. Advancing these technologies would mean additional savings that would drive investment across all sectors of the economy. Additionally, the need for improved structures, new buildings and infrastructure repairs would continue to promote job growth while positively impacting the environment. It’s a win-win.
Massachusetts has proven that smart energy policies strengthen our economy. Continuing down this road will mean more jobs, less pollution and a smarter infrastructure for Massachusetts. A successful Baker administration will continue to move the Commonwealth forward as an industry leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency as we work to strengthen our state’s economy.