In the absence of an effective national policy to combat climate change, states have enacted renewable portfolio standards (“RPS”) to require a percentage of supplied power with renewable resources which, among other things, reduces greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. As Congress considers a national RPS, it must be aware of the role of energy efficiency. Renewable energy production may not be sufficient to meet new demand for electricity. However, if electricity demand stabilizes because of greater efficiency, renewables can replace conventional sources and reduce U.S. GHG emissions. A standard that requires renewable resources alongside greater efficiency is more effective and economically efficient than a renewable standard alone.
Kirby, Rachel. “Doing More with Less : Incorporating Energy Efficiency into a National Renewable Energy Standard.” Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Fall 2007, 26, 81.