Clean Power Plan Published in Federal Register
Stage Now Set for Increased Deployment of Energy Efficiency—the Most Cost-Effective Tool for Compliance
The Alliance to Save Energy welcomes the publication in today’s Federal Register of the final rule of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP). This is one more significant and positive step toward reducing pollution from electric power plants, all while creating billions of dollars in economic benefits and maintaining a reliable and resilient grid. When the plan is fully implemented in 2030, EPA expects carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the power sector to decline 32 percent relative to 2005 levels. In that same year, net economic benefits from the plan are estimated at between $26 and $45 billion, providing Americans better health, climate security and lower utility bills.
The EPA made numerous changes between the 2014 CPP draft and the final rule published today, making the rule more equitable, transparent, verifiable and enforceable. The Alliance is especially pleased to note EPA’s encouragement of energy efficiency as a compliance mechanism, which will provide states the opportunity to design least-cost programs that are beneficial to consumers and to state economies. The Alliance to Save Energy has created a hub of information and tools for policy makers, industry participants and energy efficiency advocates to better understand the CPP and take action to ensure that energy efficiency is used to its fullest extent in states’ compliance plans.
Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan said, “Energy efficiency has a remarkable opportunity to demonstrate its superior value proposition as the most cost-effective, cleanest, quickest and most reliable way to reduce CO2 emissions, while also creating skilled jobs and empowering everyday Americans to take control over their bills. The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy you don’t have to produce in the first place, and with efficiency programs that can be up and running within 12-14 months, compliance can begin long before a typical new power plant can be constructed.”
“We’re pleased to see energy efficiency encouraged as a compliance mechanism,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Senior Vice President of policy and research at the Alliance to Save Energy. “This is a great opportunity for states to use the structure of the Clean Power Plan to reap the benefits of an already emerging new energy economy. By maximizing energy efficiency in their plans, states can meet these new requirements at the least cost, while helping consumers to reduce their electricity bills. There is no compliance mechanism better suited to help consumers with their energy costs.”
Today’s final rule publication in the Federal Register also contains the EPA’s proposed federal plan, which will be used to implement the CPP in states that do not exercise the option to develop suitable plans on their own. The federal plan is still open to comments, which are due by January 21, 2016, within 90 days of publication. States will be required to submit their plans — or requests for an extension to submit a plan — by September 6, 2016, with mandatory reductions phasing in beginning January 1, 2022.