The biggest opportunity to improve the nation's energy situation is a major investment program to make homes and businesses more efficient, according to a study released Wednesday by the consulting firm McKinsey. An investment of $520 billion [21% of what we have spent so far bailing out Wall Street banks, which is $2.5 trillion--P.M.] in improvements like sealing ducts and replacing inefficient appliances could produce $1.2 trillion in savings on energy bills through 2020, the study found.McKinsey's report is the latest in a series of reports that have concluded that energy efficiency should be the nation's priority resource, capable of meeting the majority of the nation's future energy needs.
The report said such a program, if carried out over the next decade, could cut the country's projected energy use in 2020 by about 23 percent, a savings that would be "greater than the total of energy consumption of Canada," Ken Ostrowski, a senior partner in McKinsey's Atlanta office, said at a forum in Washington on Wednesday. It would also more than offset the growth in energy use that would be expected otherwise.
"The scale is vast if we can put together the means to pursue it," Mr. Ostrowski said.
The same has been shown to be true in the Southeast and in South Carolina. Until Santee Cooper develops and implements an robust energy efficiency program (right now it's programs are anemic and unproductive), efforts to build an expensive, dirty coal plant should be opposed.