Ernest Moniz’s DOE will focus on energy efficiency

Ernest Moniz’s first public speech as head of the U.S. Department of Energy was to say that energy efficiency will be a priority for the MIT physicist turned secretary of energy.

Every year, much of the electric power the U.S. generates, transmits and consumes is wasted at some point in that process, said Moniz, who was sworn in May 21 after a unanimous Senate confirmation May 16.

“I just don’t see solutions to our biggest energy and environmental problems without a very strong demand-side response, and that’s why it’s logical to focus on energy efficiency,” Moniz said.

President Barack Obama has set a goal of doubling energy productivity in the U.S. by 2030, and Moniz said his DOE would push for energy efficiency improvements across multiple sectors of the economy.

Energy efficient appliance standards the DOE adopted over Obama’s first term will save American families trillions of dollars over the next few decades, according to the DOE. More new appliance standards will be rolled out in the coming months and years.

Vehicle electrification and alternative transportation fuels are another way Moniz’s DOE plans to boost energy efficiency, according to the DOE.

A new manufacturing initiative that focuses on wide bandgap semiconductors could help industry save power. Furthermore, the DOE will work to meet the $200 billion commitments to building energy savings performance contracts previously announced by the president.

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