Study says saving energy could boost Appalachian economy

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new report says 13 Appalachian states could create thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars in energy costs if they aggressively pursued a strategy of energy efficiency.

That's according to a report for the Appalachian Regional Commission being released Wednesday.

The report prepared by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance says that if left unchecked, energy consumption in Appalachia will rise 28 percent by 2030 -- far outpacing the nation as a whole and requiring as many as 40 new coal-fired power plants.

By contrast, the study says a concerted effort at saving energy could create 77,000 jobs in the region by 2030 and save consumers as much as $27 billion annually on their utility bills. The report says the region could actually use less energy in 2030 than it did in 2006.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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