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Authors

Warren G. Lavey

Abstract

Increased energy efficiency confers many economic, environmental, and public health benefits but is handicapped in the United States by energy prices which fail to reflect damaging emissions from most energy production. Under market prices, standard lifecycle financial analysis of potential investments leads businesses and households to improve their energy efficiency in many ways. However, pursuing environmental sustainability and enhanced public health requires heightened awareness, stronger incentives, and more actions. Many religious congregations, health care providers, and schools recognize that improving energy efficiency and reducing related emissions serve their missions. Many organizations in these mission-driven sectors have undertaken far-reaching commitments to energy efficiency, implemented strong programs, and achieved substantial progress. Some entities in these sectors appear to implement energy improvements even when not justified by typical cost/benefit analysis. Reviewing these missions and actions yields nine recommendations to strengthen and expand the impact of these sectors in driving greater energy efficiency.

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