Pennsylvania’s large utility customers shouldn’t opt out of paying their fair share to reduce energy waste
Currently there is an attempt in Pennsylvania’s statehouse to allow large utility customers to shirk their responsibility to reduce their energy waste. Senate Bill 805 would allow large industrial and commercial companies to opt out of Act 129, the Pennsylvanian statewide initiative to create a more energy-efficient economy.
The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized state-specific limits on greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. States can get most, if not all, of the emission savings they need by reducing the amount of electricity they are currently wasting. In the graph below, the light orange bars show that the listed states can achieve more than half of EPA’s 2030 limits with a few modest energy efficiency measures: 1% annual savings target, updated building codes, and 100 MW of new combined heat and power.
Energy efficiency provides many benefits to the electric utility system. One of these benefits is reducing the market price for electric generation. PJM Interconnection, the operator of the largest electric grid in the United States serving approximately 61 million people, wrapped up its most recent generation capacity auction last week. This auction determines the price paid to power plants three years in the future.
New York REVs up as commission includes efficiency in earnings opportunities; efficiency targets to be decided later
Last week the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) released its final decision in Phase 2 of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding. REV is the New York initiative to reform the utility industry by building the rules that govern the utility system of the future. Phase 2 of the proceeding dealt mostly with financial issues, particularly how utilities can earn money.
Want to use energy efficiency to benefit low-income communities in planning for the Clean Power Plan? We’ve got a guide for that.
The Clean Power Plan may be stayed, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to guide states who are considering their compliance options. This morning, EPA indicated its commitment to moving ahead with the Clean Power Plan by sending a proposal on the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) to the Office of Management and Budget.
There’s been a steady drumbeat of reports about coal and other power plant retirements in the face of low natural gas prices, aging plants, and new environmental regulations. As discussed in a recent ACEEE blog post, electricity use has been flat in recent years, although many forecasts continue to project modest growth (e.g., EIA projects electricity consumption to increase 0.8% per year).
As inhabitants of the Information Age, we have the power to do whatever we put our minds to. Want to learn to tie a tie? There are tutorials on YouTube. Thinking of baking macaroons? Look it up on Pinterest. Want to learn a new language? There's an app for that. No matter what task you are tackling, there is likely an online guide to help you "do it yourself." While we might not be able to help you assemble IKEA furniture or truss a chicken, ACEEE can help you develop a strategy for complying with the Clean Power Plan while avoiding energy waste.
In October 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Clean Power Plan (CPP) final rule, regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Now that the final rule has been released, policymakers, state governments, utility and power plant owners, and other stakeholders are weighing their options to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) from the power sector for compliance with the rule.
The past year included many successes, including quite a few that we can build on in the new year. Among the notable developments in 2015:
Now that the final Clean Power Plan has been released and posted in the Federal Register, it’s time to get to work. By including energy efficiency in their compliance plans, states can reduce emissions and compliance costs while boosting local economies and reducing household utility bills. Many states are already benefiting from energy efficiency policies and programs, while others are just getting started.