On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final version of the Clean Power Plan, a rule that sets performance rates and individual state targets for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. Under the authority of Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the rule seeks to reduce emissions 32% nationwide by 2030, relative to 2005 levels. One of the most promising compliance strategies for low-cost pollution abatement is end-use energy efficiency. In addition to the final rule, EPA released several supplemental resources:
- Technical Summary for States
- State-Specific Fact Sheets
- Technical Support Documents (including one on Demand-Side Energy Efficiency)
- Draft Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Guidance
- Proposed Federal Plan for States
- And many others in the Clean Power Plan Toolbox
The Role of Energy Efficiency
End-use energy efficiency is a proven strategy to reduce energy and can help states to cost-effectively meet their CO2 reduction goals. The energy savings from end-use efficiency measures have already resulted in significant, cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions from the electric power sector. In fact, states, utilities, grid operators, and others have for decades relied on end-use energy efficiency policies and programs for financial, legal, economic development, and environmental purposes. While energy efficiency was not used to calculate state pollution reduction targets, it remains states’ cheapest and most readily available option for achieving substantial and reliable emission reductions.
ACEEE has developed a number of resources to help states and stakeholders understand and assess the energy, environmental, and economic benefits of energy efficiency as a means to reducing pollution:
- The State and Utility Pollution Reduction Calculator Version 2 (SUPR 2) allows users to create a simplified Clean Power Plan compliance scenario by selecting from 19 policies and technologies so that they may develop a better understanding of the associated cost and emissions benefits that come with different compliance options.
Our “template” series provides guidance to help states take credit for emissions reductions from multiple energy efficiency policies and programs.
- Template for Including Building Energy Codes in State Compliance Plans
- Template for Including Financing Programs in State Compliance Plans
- Template for Including Combined Heat and Power in Compliance Plans
Rapidly deployable energy efficiency policies can achieve a majority of EPA’s required greenhouse gas reductions by 2030. See how here. (Coming soon!)
Additional Tools and Resources
- ACEEE Webinar, “Energy Efficiency and Low-Income Communities in the Clean Power Plan: A Billion Dollar Deal” (November 12, 2015) presentation and recording
- NASEO-ACEEE Webinar, "Clean Power Plan: Tools for States" (June 29, 2015) presentation and recording
- CHP can help states meet their Clean Power Plan targets, and here’s how
- A SUPR tool to map Clean Power Plan state compliance scenarios
- No Building Left Behind: The Clean Power Plan and Multifamily Energy Efficiency
- ACEEE Releases Tool for Including Building Codes in States’ Clean Power Plans
- The Role of Building Energy Codes in the Clean Power Plan
- Comments of ACEEE On the Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Clean Power Plan
- Change Is in the Air: How States Can Harness Energy Efficiency to Strengthen the Economy and Reduce Pollution
- 1,2,3 Solutions for States
- ACEEE and ASE: Response to EPA: Considerations in the Design of a Program to Reduce Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants
- ACEEE and the Nicholas Institute: Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Limits for Existing Power Plants: Learning from EPA Precedent
For more resources and technical assistance, check out the State 111(d) Resource Hub, jointly supported by ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials.