Economic Energy Efficiency

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The Clean Power Plan for Colorado and What it Means for Energy Efficiency

The EPA released the final rules for the Clean Power Plan on August 5, 2015. Each State is required to submit their plan to the EPA by 2016. They can also request an extension. The plan for our state is being developed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) with input from stakeholders.

What is the Clean Power Plan? Part of the president’s climate initiative to lower green house gas emissions from power plants. There are two approaches the mass based standard that sets a maximum number of tons of carbon dioxide that may be emitted by covered plants, allowing for some load growth over the years: and a rate based approach expressed as a number of pounds of CO2 per mega-watt hour for each time period. If the mass based approach is used EE programs do not need to include measurement and verification.

How is the CDPHE going to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission? Part of it will come from PV Solar, Wind, fuel conversions from coal to gas and Energy Efficiency. It is up to us in the EE industry to educate the CDPHE on the cost effectiveness of including EE in their plan.

This is where the EEBC, Energy Efficient Business Coalition can play a big part. It is our goal to educate the CDPHE on the benefits of EE. Energy efficiency in the State of Colorado supports over 14,000 clean energy jobs per a 2012 member survey. An August NRDC report estimates the jobs at 23,400 workers statewide. Energy efficiency has proven to be the least cost per kWh for reducing energy consumption. The CPP will grow the EE industry. Our industry creates middle-income jobs for America. Jobs that cannot be outsourced and jobs that do not necessarily need a four-year college education. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, insulators and building energy auditors are just some of the jobs created by the energy efficiency industry. Energy Efficiency is the web that connects of the dots of the clean energy industry. Let’s grow our industry.

The CPP is going to happen. Our Governor supports it, our mayors support it, our newspapers are for it and the citizens for it. No doubt there will be lawsuits, probably going to the Supreme Court. The legal pundits feel that in the end the law will be upheld. As a side note, our attorney general Cynthia Coffman is probably going to join the lawsuit to fight the implementation of the plan.

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