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Report: Boosting Energy Efficiency Would Bring Vast Health Benefits

Environmental Working Group: “A new report estimated the sweeping public health benefits that a 15 percent reduction in energy demand would yield in one year. The February report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, or PSR, found that the savings from modestly cutting energy demand in the electric sector, and thus reducing air pollution, would be the equivalent of the annual insurance premiums for nearly 3.6 million families. The health harms from air pollution reviewed in the report include premature deaths, respiratory-related visits to the hospital, heart attacks, lost work days and cases of acute bronchitis. According to the report, this single year reduction in energy demand in the power sector would result in:

  • More than six lives saved per day from premature death
  • Up to $20 billion in avoided health harms
  • Nearly 30,000 fewer asthma episodes

Energy efficiency investments reduce the need to generate electricity from polluting power plants, reducing air emissions and reducing health harms. The ACEEE and PSR estimated the following substantial reductions in lung-damaging air emissions:

  • Particulate emissions: more than 20,000 tons, or 11 percent
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions: about 192,000 tons, or 18 percent
  • Sulfur dioxide emissions: about 276,000 tons, or 23 percent..”

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