This ICF International white paper takes a novel, nationwide approach in estimating an overall impact on emissions and cost and sheds light on the role that energy efficiency can play as a compliance mechanism.
The release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan proposal starts the clock on what will be a multiyear process of review, analysis, planning, and implementation for states, affected sources, and other stakeholders. Depending on the outcome of this process and the methods by which states choose to comply, nationwide annual expenditures on utility energy efficiency programs could increase threefold, and the net electric system benefits from these programs could increase approximately 15 percent by 2030 solely due to their compliance value. These benefits would not only reduce the total cost of compliance but also reduce power prices. Inclusion of efficiency in Clean Power Plan compliance would make efficiency programs more cost effective and increase efficiency's risk management value to utilities.
This white paper examines these implications and discusses other key topics, including:
- Background and timeline of EPA's Clean Power Plan
- Building blocks to best system of emission reduction (BSER)
- Quantifying the value of energy efficiency as a compliance mechanism