Investing in Energy Efficiency Pays Off
The New York Times, February 6, 2015
A junior and senior economist are walking down the street. The junior one spots a $20 bill on the ground and says, “Hey, look, 20 dollars! Should I pick it up?” The senior economist replies: “Don’t bother. It can’t be real. If it were, someone would have taken it already.”
The idea that money is available for the taking defies economic logic. But sometimes it’s true. That’s the case with a vast opportunity that’s routinely overlooked by institutions across the country — from universities to hospitals, companies to governments.
The opportunity is investing in energy efficiency. “The returns are tremendous, and there’s virtually no risk,” said Mark Orlowski, the founder and executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, an organization that is building a network to advance research, education and practical tools to help institutions, primarily universities and colleges, make investments that mitigate climate change.