A 2009 UCS study found that unleashing the full potential of policies designed to promote efficiency and renewable energy, along with a sharp limit on global warming emissions, would save U.S. households an average of $900 annually by 2030, while businesses would save a total of $126 billion annually. To garner those savings, the nation will need to make some up-front investments—in more efficient appliances, vehicles, heating and cooling systems, and production processes, for example. However, the resulting drops in energy bills from reductions in electricity and fuel use will more than offset the costs of these investments.
Independent analyses of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), the energy and climate bill now being considered by Congress—such as by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA)—show that the act’s costs to the U.S. economy would be minimal. According to the EIA, for example, household energy costs would be less than $10 a month higher in 2020, or less than 33 cents a day, and the total discounted GDP losses from the 2012 to 2030 time period would amount to just 0.2 percent of GDP. And these studies exclude or underestimate important mechanisms for containing these costs, such as greater efficiency, and ignore the savings that would come from avoiding many of the costs of climate change itself.