- Supported the agendas of the Kyoto Protocol Climate Conference, which called for steep worldwide reductions in the manmade greenhouse-gas emissions allegedly responsible for global warming
- Advocates the passage of a domestic cap-and-trade bill as a “solution to climate change”
Striving “to be the world’s premier organization promoting energy efficiency to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security,” the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) was established in 1977 by Senators Charles Percy (R-Illinois) and Hubert Humphrey (D-Minnesota), in reaction to the global energy crisis which the OPEC oil embargo had sparked.
ASE gained considerable early notoriety from its 1978 national television advertising campaign promoting energy conservation and featuring film star Gregory Peck. In 1993 the the U.S.-based Alliance expanded its activities into Russia, Ukraine, Central Europe, Mexico, Ghana, and China. In 1997 it supported the agendas of the Kyoto Protocol Climate Conference, which called for steep worldwide reductions in the manmade greenhouse-gas emissions allegedly responsible for global warming. And today ASE advocates the passage of a domestic cap-and-trade bill as a “solution to climate change.”
ASE’s major program areas include the following:
The Alliance Standards Awareness Project—a collaborative program between ASE, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)—advocates increased “appliance and equipment efficiency standards at the federal and state levels.”
The Clean and Efficient Energy Program assists public power utilities in “the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of energy efficiency and renewable energy activities.”
The Communications Program “informs consumers, policymakers and business leaders about the importance of energy efficiency” by way of print, broadcast, and electronic media as well as grassroots initiatives.
The Energy Hog Program features educational resources designed to teach children in grades 2 through 6—via games and activities—about the concept of wasted energy. A complementary initiative is the Green Schools Program, which seeks to educate youngsters about “the importance of energy efficiency” and encourages students to recommend energy-saving measures that could be implemented in their own schools and communities. Funded by utility companies, municipalities, and school systems, this program is active in nine states and Washington, DC. Meanwhile, the Green Campus Program offers energy-efficiency internships to some 75 college students each year, guiding them along “pathways to green careers.”
The Policy and Research Program seeks to “infor[m] the debate on Capitol Hill” and thereby help legislators enact “effective energy policy.”
The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance aims to “cultivat[e] a culture of energy efficiency” in the Southeast United States, a region responsible for 44 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption.
For information on additional ASE programs, click here.
Today ASE, which has been active in more than 30 countries around the world, is staffed by approximately 80 employees in the U.S. and abroad. These staffers include economists, engineers, financial experts, public policy specialists, and communications professionals. Kateri Callahan, an attorney who formerly served as executive director of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, has been the president of ASE since January 2004. The Alliance’s twelve honorary vice chairs are all members of the U.S. House of Representatives—five liberal Republicans and seven Democrats.
On its website, ASE identifies scores of “associates” that “work with the Alliance and each other on energy efficiency policy and programs.” These associates include some of the largest corporations in the world—e.g., AT&T, Bank of America, Best Buy, Dell Computers, Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil, Home Depot, Honeywell, Intel, Michelin, Panasonic, and Wal-Mart. Another key associate is the union federation Change to Win.
ASE receives approximately 20 large government grants annually. In 2008, for instance, government grants totaling $3,148,788 accounted for roughly one-third of the $9,563,959 which the Alliance collected that year. Additional funding for ASE comes from corporate contributions and foundation grants. Since the early 1990s, the Alliance has been awarded grants by such donors as the AT&T Foundation, the Blue Moon Fund, the Bullitt Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Fannie Mae Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the Turner Foundation. In 2002, ASE participated in an energy-efficiency initiative in Brazil, India and China, funded by the United Nations Foundation.