Conservation efforts would do more than prevent the release of more carbon dioxide in the air. Energy efficiency could save consumers $41 billion by 2020 and create 380,000 jobs, the study says.
There is a $2.25 benefit for every $1 invested. The study was paid for by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.
It may come up in the next several weeks as supporters try to advance a climate bill in the Senate. Democrats are pushing new renewable and energy efficiency standards to lower greenhouse gas emissions along with a cap on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.
Historically, members from the Southeast have resisted the mandates because they fear they would raise rates for consumers in their states.