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Report: EPA Carbon Reduction Doesn't Have to Ding Ratepayers

PHOTO: A new report shows New Hampshire could meet EPA carbon reduction rules, expected to be announced next week, through energy-efficiency policies. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
PHOTO: A new report shows New Hampshire could meet EPA carbon reduction rules, expected to be announced next week, through energy-efficiency policies. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
May 28, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. - The Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations to require carbon-pollution controls at existing coal-fired power plants are expected in about a week. There have been warnings about costs that would be passed along to consumers, but a study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy shows that efficiency could meet carbon-reduction targets.

Report author Sara Hayes cited additional benefits.

"In New Hampshire, the adoption of these solutions would result in 2,700 new jobs and an increase in gross state product of $60 million," she said. "This approach saves ratepayers $300 million."

According to the report, the numbers would be achieved by 2030 under a scenario of cutting carbon by 26 percent below 2012 levels.

Efficiency may be the easiest way for states to meet the EPA carbon-reduction plan. Efficiency policies include state energy savings targets, updating building codes, constructing combined heat and power facilities and adopting standards for major appliances.

"Energy efficiency is the ultimate resource," she said. "It's clean, reliable and cheap. The Environmental Protection Agency has the opportunity to improve air quality and our economy, in one fell swoop."

Energy-efficient technologies in the EPA plan already have been tried and tested, she said, and many states already have adopted them in some form.

The ACEEE report is online at aceee.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - NH