Clean Power Plan
More than 600 days into the Trump administration, amid constant reports of regulatory rollbacks, there’s been surprisingly little damage to energy efficiency…yet. But now the administrative winds are starting to blow, rulemakings are under way—with a couple open comment periods—and we are working hard to hold onto the energy savings we have been helping to build.
Statement by Maggie Molina, Senior Director of Policy
Today’s executive order to begin a rollback of the Clean Power Plan does not halt the progress states have made in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Across the country, states are relying on energy efficiency not only to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals but also to help families save money, meet energy demand reliably, create jobs, protect public health, and improve housing and infrastructure resiliency.
The Obama administration’s energy efficiency efforts are saving billions of dollars each year and could save trillions by 2040. The projected savings by then are far more than what consumers now spend on phones and the Internet, combined.
As another round of global climate talks has concluded, many observers wonder whether the 2016 election means the end of greenhouse gas regulation in the United States. More specifically, what happens to the Clean Power Plan?
My home state of Michigan recently released two reports summarizing how Michigan could comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan requirements. As has been the case with numerous other analyses, they found energy efficiency to be a core strategy for reducing the total costs of Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance. In fact, the modeling showed energy efficiency would help Michigan achieve excess carbon credits, which could be sold to ot
Despite the fact that energy efficiency is generally the least-cost option for states looking to comply with the Clean Power Plan, it has yet to be fully considered as a strategy for the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). This could result in reduced investment in energy efficiency which would mean increased electric costs and less money in the hands of communities.
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.
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).