Strengthening energy efficiency standards by an achievable 15% would reduce heart attacks, respiratory disease, asthma attacks, and premature death, according to a new study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
More energy efficient buildings and transportation would reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 18% and sulfur dioxide by 23%. Cleaner air would result in nearly 30,000 fewer asthma episodes, save more than six lives a day, and avoid $20 billion a year in health costs.
These benefits would impact some states and cities more than others. Based on the dollar value of avoided health harms, Pennsylvania would realize the greatest benefits, followed by New York, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
In the built environment, simple measures such as sealing holes would reduce the influx of outdoor pollution while improving HVAC efficiency and comfort for occupants. Sealing holes would also improve indoor air quality by blocking air containing moisture that aids the growth of mold.