The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is a public interest organization focused on promoting and advancing energy efficiency in the southwest, including here in the Silver State.

They looked at the utility energy efficiency program "Best Practices" and then calculated how much money Nevada would save and how many jobs would be created, if most of us made a few changes to how we use energy.

"$3.4 billion of net savings and at the same time support 4,700 new jobs in the state."

That's how much money and jobs Howard Geller, the executive director of Southwest Energy Efficiency Project believes Nevada would see by 2020 if NV Energy and some other utility programs adopted what Geller lists as "18 residential, commercial and industrial Best Practice energy efficiency programs.

Gary Dyer is the owner of WMSE Investments. He owns a medical building on Mill Street in Reno. He said when he purchased it, the energy bill was about $6,000 a month.

He said they cut the electricity use and utility bills by 50% through a series of retrofit projects.

Dyer said they changed the LED lights and installed a retrofit air conditioning and heating system.

"The payback was pretty quick on something like that. It was a no brainer."

Becoming more energy efficient should be a no brainer for everyone, according to an energy specialist and consultant at the University of Nevada.

"They manifest in a way that does shift return on investment on these projects toward outstanding paybacks," said Peter Millar.

Millar said it's time for energy companies, businesses, and homeowners to all focus on becoming more energy efficient. He said when we all do, we will notice the savings.

Millar said it's only a matter of time before everyone starts to look out how they can change the way they use energy .

 "The overall impact on how we run out power grid and our energy system is such that it's just the lowest cost way to move forward in the future."

Millar said the key to encouraging more businesses and homeowners to jump onboard with energy efficient projects is getting utility companies to offer incentives like rebates.

He said that's something we will see more of in the future as well.

Written by Chris Ciarlo