Energy Efficiency Spending to Spike

Businesses, as well as residential users, utilities and governments, are expected to increase spending on energy efficiency programs, according to Navigant Research. The firm predicts that outlays will more than double – from $25.6 billion to $56.1 billion – between 2017 and 2026.

An indicator of the heightened spending, the press release says, is that the increase in mergers and acquisitions among utilities, technology providers and energy equipment manufacturers. The release says that Europe, in an effort to reduce energy consumption and related emissions, will be the biggest spender. It will invest $21.4 billion by 2026.

Businesses tend to spend more if they are incented to do so. The Trump administration may make it more difficult to fulfill Navigant’s spending predictions by deemphasizing efficiency. EE Times reports that one popular program is on the chopping block in the proposed budget:

A spending blueprint would slash Energy Star and related programs, leaving $5 million “for the closeout or transfer of all the climate protection voluntary partnership programs,” noting that achieving that might require changes to authorizing legislation from Congress.

On the other hand, some of progress has created its own momentum and, perhaps, would emphasize state and local action. For instance, PG&E this week asked with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to continue a program that works with hospitals, local governments and multifamily housing to cut energy use.

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