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Climate Change Policy, Air Emissions Regulation, and CPP

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Energy efficiency measures have been proven by many analyses to be the most cost-effective and fast-track way to address global climate change while reducing energy usage and more affordably expanding the use of renewable energy sources.

Energy efficiency measures have been proven by many analyses to be the most cost-effective and fast-track way to address global climate change while reducing energy usage and more affordably expanding the use of renewable energy sources.  In the race to implement sound policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, energy efficiency should be the “first fuel” by mitigating the costs of addressing climate change while providing environmental, energy, and consumer benefits. 

The inclusion of specific energy efficiency policies in climate legislation is essential to realizing efficiency’s potential to reduce carbon emissions.  Utility energy efficiency targets, appliance and vehicle standards, building energy codes, and land use planning inducements should all be among the basic elements of any federal climate bill today.

 

Air Emissions Regulations

Over the next decade a host of federal air regulations will update limits on the emissions of multiple pollutants from stationary sources such as power plants and industrial facilities. These air regulations create a demand for low-cost and rapidly deployable emissions reduction measures. Fortunately, most of these regulations provide the electric power and industrial sectors with an opportunity to reduce the costs of compliance through end-use energy efficiency. Energy efficiency proves to be a least-cost resource when compared with new generation and reduces energy demand, offsetting the amount of electricity that must be generated from existing facilities. This avoids emissions from multiple regulated air pollutants.

Unfortunately, quantifying the emissions benefits from energy efficiency is not straightforward and the multi-pollutant and energy savings benefits from efficiency are often overlooked. To help with this issue ACEEE is developing resources and materials to aid states, regulators, policymakers, facility owners, and other stakeholders to understand and assess their options for using energy efficiency to meet air quality goals.

Visit our page on the clean power plan for an updated list of new technical resources that will help "clear the air" and illuminate the environmental benefits of energy efficiency.

The Clean Power Plan
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