“However, if Delaware were to proceed in its business‐as‐usual fashion, its future would be worrisome. Delaware and Delawareans spend much more money on energy today than we need to.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, in 2006, Delaware spent just over $3.6 billion on energy, ranking us as the 20th highest energy use per capita of all the states.  Delaware ranks last in the nation in renewable energy production; overall, less than .05% of our energy in 2006 came from renewable sources.  We are so low, that the next lowest state, Rhode Island, with a population slightly larger than Delaware’s, generated more than 50 times the amount of electricity from renewable energy than did Delaware.  Nor can we be proud of our efforts to use electricity efficiently; for many years, Delaware was tied for last in the nation with regard to money spent on energy efficient investments.  We have improved slightly since then; we are now tied at 32nd with Virginia, but have a very long way to go to even become average.”

That was from the Delaware Energy Office’s new assessment of our energy needs which one can view full by going here…

And our habits need changed as well.

Delaware wastes dollars in its use of energy. We Delawareans burn almost 150,000,000
gallons more than we would if our gasoline consumption was similar to Rhode Island. At $2.00 per gallon, our driving habits cost us about $300 million dollars more each year just on gasoline than do Rhode Island’s. Even if we were to only reduce our gasoline consumption by 10%, we would save 48.5 million gallons of gasoline each year, saving nearly $100 million.

It continues…

More broadly, in 2006, Delaware’s total energy use per person was 11% higher than Pennsylvania, 17% higher than New Jersey, 36% higher than Maryland, and 40% higher than Rhode Island. Given that we spent some $3.6 billion on energy in 2006, an 11% reduction would save us $400 million each year. If we used New Jersey as the standard to meet, we would see a $600 million annual savings. Matching Maryland means a $940 million savings. If Delaware wanted to be a leader with a per capita energy consumption rate equivalent to Rhode Island, we would have saved Delawareans over $1.5 billion dollars in 2006 alone!

Considering that we, and the nation, now face daunting economic challenges and need to restructure our economy to create many good new jobs, we can no longer afford to needlessly burn our money. If we continue along our current path, the state’s economic future will be held hostage to the global fossil fuel market and we will have little resilience to respond to energy price spikes or to future federal mandates to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuel. Instead, we will continue burning money that could be put to important, productive uses. On the other hand, the opportunities for improvement are dramatic if we make a full‐fledged commitment to improve our energy efficiency and shift to renewable energy. The potential to create new green energy industries and reduce our energy waste is enormous. But these changes will not occur on their own. The reason some states are efficient and have more renewable energy is primarily the result of the laws, policies and institutional frameworks that a state adopts.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we now have an official energy policy that we can get behind… Of course the devil is in the details.. We hope to keep you posted…

But we have a goal and that is to meet and beat the energy efficiency of “that other small state”.. If we can accomplish that, we will be near the top of the list in energy efficiency…

Our goal will be met by following two streams simultaneously… The first is to remarkellably reduce demand by cutting out waste, and the second is to gear up production of cost free renewable sources on our home turf…… Together, we can do this…