Energy efficiency increases need to be a key strategy in achieving carbon emissions goals, according to joint comments submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the Alliance to Save Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), in response to the agency's forthcoming new standards for existing power plants.
"This is a very exciting time. Energy efficiency already helps avoid millions of tons of pollution every year, but now the EPA has a huge opportunity to fully unleash its potential to achieve emissions reductions while also offering states cost savings, increased grid reliability, and improved productivity. As our cleanest and most cost effective energy resource, we urge the EPA make efficiency a priority in writing its new guidelines," Alliance President Kateri Callahan said. "Ensuring that efficiency is included in our air quality strategies is a critical piece in achieving the Energy 2030 goal to double U.S. energy productivity that has been endorsed by President Obama and included in his Climate Action Plan."
“Improving our nation’s energy efficiency is the cheapest way to cut down on our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Steven Nadel, the executive director of ACEEE. “Consumers are already saving billions of dollars and creating jobs by slashing their energy use—while also cutting carbon dioxide emissions produced from burning fossil fuels. We know from studies across the country that we could be saving much more. So it’s important that EPA designs its rules on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants in a way that encourages and uses energy efficiency by consumers as a compliance strategy, not just actions at the power plants. We look forward to working with EPA to use the power of energy efficiency to address climate change.”
The proposed new guidelines will be introduced by June 1, 2014, and finalized one year later. The Alliance and ACEEE's full comments to the EPA can be found here: http://www.ase.org/sites/ase.org/files/resources/Media%20browser/ase_aceee_comments_on_111d_-_12-5-13.pdf