AGA Supports Innovative Approach to Increasing Energy Efficiency
$5 million Prize from Georgetown University for Community that Reduces Energy Consumption
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) is proud to support the Georgetown University Energy Prize and participate in their innovative approach to increasing energy efficiency. The $5 million prize challenges small-to medium-size towns, cities and counties to rethink their energy use and implement creative strategies to increase efficiency. In communities that are eligible to compete, natural gas utilities will play an active role in developing and implementing energy conservation plans.
“Our nation’s energy future will be built on a healthy combination of energy efficiency, renewables and our domestic abundance of natural gas,” said Dave McCurdy, AGA President and CEO. “As part of their commitment to improving the way we use energy, America's natural gas utilities continue to increase their investment in natural gas efficiency programs and look at innovative approaches to drive energy savings in their local communities. The Georgetown University Energy Prize is an exciting opportunity to discover new ways to conserve energy and establish best practices for increasing energy efficiency for consumers, businesses and governments at every level.”
The direct use of natural gas in America’s homes and businesses achieves 92 percent energy efficiency, and a household with natural gas versus all-electric appliances produces 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
“The natural gas industry has a long history of helping our customers to be more energy efficient, saving them money and benefitting the environment at the same time,” said Pacific Gas and Electric Company President and American Gas Foundation Chairman Chris Johns. “We’re convinced that energy efficiency is an essential part of a smart energy future, and we’re pleased to support a competition that gets communities working together in building this future.”
To compete for the Prize, local governments, residents, utilities, and others will need to work together to demonstrate success in reducing energy consumption over a two-year period. By informing the public and engaging community members on energy efficiency issues, methods, and benefits, the Georgetown University Energy Prize has the potential to encourage lasting, behavioral change in the participating communities.
According to a 2013 survey of AGA members and members of the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, utilities funded 120 natural gas efficiency programs in the United States in 2012. Customers saved nearly 136 trillion Btu (a 9 percent increase from 2011), thus avoiding 7.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Participating U.S. households reduced their annual natural gas usage by 16 percent on average and saved $117 on their annual natural gas bills.
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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.