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Clean Power Plan Tool Sells Energy Efficiency Short [Sign-On]

willenhallwench / Pixabay
willenhallwench / Pixabay

A key funding mechanism under the President Barack Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan (CPP) is giving short shrift to the least-cost option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a senior analyst with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) charges in a recent blog post.

ACEEE is asking supporters to sign on to a letter urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to amend its Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) to “put energy efficiency on a level playing field” with other options.

“It costs significantly less to reduce emissions through energy efficiency than through other means,” writes ACEEE Senior Research Analyst Cassandra Kubes. “These savings get passed down to customers, resulting in local job creation and economic development. The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposal for the CEIP is an important opportunity to ensure that states can reward investments in energy efficiency while claiming credit for the pollution it avoids.”

But while the plan for the CEIP’s early-action program includes incentives for renewable energy, and for energy efficiency in low-income communities, the current proposal puts wider efficiency programs at a disadvantage.

“The exclusion of energy efficiency is a significant oversight that could cause states to opt for more expensive compliance options,” Kubes writes. “This could result in reduced investment in energy efficiency which would mean increased electric costs and less money in the hands of communities.”