* Panel wants energy savings to be considered in mortgages
* Efficiency has bipartisan support in Congress - lawmaker
* Report says measures would increase GDP by up to 2 pct
By Ayesha Rascoe
WASHINGTON, Feb 7 The United States can double
energy productivity over the next 20 years by boosting
investments in energy efficiency, reforming tax credits for
energy savings and engaging state and local governments, a
report released on Thursday said.
With a new session of Congress beginning, the report laid
out a sweeping vision for cutting the energy used to support a
growing U.S. economy by 2030.
"This is an issue we can get done," Senator Mark Warner,
co-chairman of the Alliance Commission on National Energy
Efficiency Policy set up by the Alliance to Save Energy, said at
a news conference.
Energy efficiency is one of the few areas of energy policy
that analysts say might gain traction among deeply divided
lawmakers this year.
Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said there was bipartisan
support for efficiency measures in the Senate and the House of
Members of the panel were scheduled to meet officials at the
White House on Thursday to discuss the report.
The commission, made up of a broad coalition of corporate
officials, politicians and environmentalists, said energy and
transportation savings should be included in mortgages backed by
Tax credits for energy efficiency should be reformed and
extended, while federal investment in research and development
should increase, the report also urged.
Another measure outlined in the report is a
"race-to-the-top" style competition in which states would be
rewarded with funding and technical assistance for adopting
policy and regulatory reforms.
The costs associated with some of these recommendations
could face resistance given the tight federal budget, but the
report stressed the reforms would ultimately cut average
household energy costs by more than $1,000 a year and increase
the Gross Domestic Product by up to 2 percent.
The report said the measures could also add 1.3 million jobs
to the U.S. economy by 2030 and reduce carbon emissions by a
"What this report says is there is a false choice between
investing in more efficient energy ... and a growing economy,"
said former New York governor George Pataki, another member of