ACEEE: Leverage Efficiency in Emissions Standard
Energy efficiency could be used in an upcoming standard by the EPA to reduce CO2 levels with no net cost to the economy, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
The standard, currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget and likely to be released in early June, would set a CO2 emissions limit for existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
The ACEEE study, which is titled Change is in the Air: How States Can Harness Energy Efficiency to Strengthen the Economy and Reduce Pollution, shows how the EPA could use four common energy efficiency policies to set a carbon pollution standard that reduces emissions to 26 percent below 2012 levels. In 2030, these policies would save 600 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, save over 925 million MWh of electricity, reduce electricity demand by 25 percent, and avoid the need for 494 power plants.
The four policies included in the plan are: setting a state energy savings target of 1.5 percent per year, implementing updated national model building codes, constructing economically attractive combined heat and power facilities and adopting standards for five appliances.
Compliance with a new CO2 standard for existing power plants will ultimately fall to the states. Including energy efficiency in the standard as a way to meet the CO2 reduction targets will allow states more flexibility as they find ways to manage their energy portfolios, ACEEE says.
Under the plan Arizona would cut its electricity consumption by 39 percent by 2030 compared to a 2012 baseline – a larger proportion than any other state (see chart). Nebraska, the state that would benefit the least, would cut its electricity consumption by 19 percent over that timescale, the report says.
A recent report by ACEEE also found that energy efficiency is the lowest-cost electricity resource for utilities. Programs aimed at helping customers save energy cost utilities only about three cents per kilowatt hour, while generating the same amount of electricity from burning coal or natural gas can cost two to three times more.
- The CFO and the Sustainability Reporting Chain
- Integrated Building Optimization
- 2014 Insider Knowledge Report
- 2014 Environmental Leader Product and Project Awards
- Trends in Energy Management: Where Should Your Next Investment Be?
- The Business Case for Corporate Sustainability Tools
- NAEM Trends Report: Planning for a Sustainable Future
- Smart Companies Utilize Integrated Energy Solutions
- Essential Guide to Lighting Retrofits and Upgrades
- Sustainability Careers: Unlocking Hidden Employment Potential
- Energy Efficiency Requires Engineering Efficiency
- Integrated Building Optimization: A Crucial Convergence of Demand-side and Supply-Side Energy Management Strategies
- Driving Productivity and Profit with Industrial Energy Management
- Energy Procurement in 2014: Products & Programs to Optimize Savings
- BUYING STRATEGIES IN A VOLATILE MARKET: What Businesses Need to Know about Retail Electricity Procurement