Energy efficiency is the most important climate solution for several reasons:
1. It is by far the biggest resource.
2. It is by far the cheapest, far cheaper than the current cost of unsustainable energy, so cheap that it helps pay for the other solutions.
3. It is by far the fastest to deploy, without the transmission and siting issues that plague most other strategies.
4. It is “renewable” — the efficiency potential never runs out.
This post focuses on #1 — the tremendous size of the resource, especially here in the United States, the Saudi Arabia of wasted energy. Part 2 explains why it is The limitless resource, Part 3 explains why efficiency is The only cheap power left, and Part 4 explains How California does it so consistently and cost-effectively. Part 5 explains why efficiency has the highest documented rate of return of any federal program.