Energy Efficiency in Appalachia

Author: Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
Published: March 1, 2009
( pdf | 3234.7 kb)
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The Appalachian Region’s energy consumption is expected to increase 28 percent between 2006 and 2030, compared with a 19 percent increase forecast for the United States as a whole. This study conducted by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), on behalf of the Appalachian Regional Commission, finds that a bold energy efficiency initiative could cut projected energy use in the region by up to 24 percent by the year 2030. It also concludes that the implementation of energy-efficiency measures has the potential to help create tens of thousands of jobs and save billions in energy costs over the next 20 years.


Energy Efficiency in Appalachia addresses several questions, including:

  • How big are the energy-efficiency resources in Appalachia?
  • How quickly can these energy-efficiency resources be realized?
  • What policies and programs can most effectively translate these resources into energy savings?
  • What impact will such policies and programs have on jobs and wages in Appalachia?

Policy actions and program models across industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation sectors are weighed. The most effective policies modeled in the study include:

  • incentives for commercial heating, ventilation, and air-condition (HVAC) and lighting retrofits
  • expansion of industrial assessment centers to help industries identify energy efficiency opportunities
  • support for commissioning of existing commercial buildings to ensure energy efficiency standards
  • clean car standards
  • residential retrofit with resale energy labeling

Appalachia includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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