The Dow Chemical Company on February 24 released data updating the company's accomplishments as a result of its energy efficiency and conservation program.
The updated data comes as Rich Wells, Dow's vice president of Energy, on February 24 offered expert testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Energy and Environment regarding complementary policies for climate change legislation.
New cumulative data shows that since 1994, when Dow first reported its energy and conservation performance, the Company has saved 1,600 trillion BTU of energy. This savings is equivalent to the energy needed to generate the electricity used in all residential houses in California for one year. Dow's program has resulted in energy savings of $8.6 billion and has prevented 86 million metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Wells shared the data with subcommittee members to underscore Dow's belief that energy efficiency policies can help reduce the costs of climate legislation. In his testimony, Wells recommended that Congress include greater energy efficiency measures to extend U.S. energy supplies and slash carbon emissions.
"We need to be thoughtful when designing a climate policy," said Wells. "Too strong a price signal on carbon in the short term could accelerate fuel switching from coal to natural gas in the power generation sector."
"This action could trigger a steep demand for natural gas and dramatically drive up prices that would harm manufacturing companies such as Dow. Combined with other well-designed climate policy elements – such as cost containment – energy-efficiency measures can lessen the impact of fuel switching under a cap-and-trade system," he added.
Dow has been an active voice on energy and climate change policies. In late 2008, the company released the Dow Energy Plan for America, providing a blueprint for a comprehensive energy policy to help stabilize prices, strengthen the economy, address climate change and revitalize U.S. manufacturing.
In addition to its advocacy work, Dow has developed products designed to help consumers and businesses save energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For example, avoided GHG emissions from the use of Dow thermal insulation products in commercial, residential and industrial pipe applications are seven times greater than what the company emits on a global basis.