energy-139366_640Not only is pollution affecting our health and climate, but it could also be hurting our wallets. Contrary to popular belief, using alternative energy sources and focusing on being energy efficient can actually be more affordable.

Last week the EPA released a proposed set of carbon pollution standards that could reduce emissions by up to 20% by 2020. These standards would also create over 274,000 jobs and save Americans $37 billion in energy costs in a year. On average, that would be a savings of $103 per American household each year. Businesses would be required to adhere to stricter emissions standards and cut back on energy produced by fossil fuels.

More Jobs and More Savings

Becoming more energy efficient will require many skilled laborers. Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, and various contractors would be employed to get houses, offices, warehouses, and power plants working within legal standards. These individuals may also learn new skills for installing the appropriate equipment, which will likely benefit them far into the future.

Economically, certain states are expected to benefit more than others. California, for example, will see smaller savings because the state already has a major focus on renewable energy. In the past two years alone, it’s estimated that California’s efficiency programs have saved customers over $900 million in utilities. Multiple state regulators have confirmed that every dollar spent on efficiency programs, such as appliance rebates, has a $3 ROI.

America has access to more innovative energy options than any other country, and it’s about time we utilize our untapped potential. Now that the government is becoming more involved through efficiency programs, clean energy will be more affordable than ever.