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Clean Power Could Mean Lower Electric Bills

Coal-fueled power plant near mine. Credit: iStockphoto.
Coal-fueled power plant near mine. Credit: iStockphoto.
July 27, 2015

DENVER - According to two new reports, Colorado has the potential to reduce carbon pollution and help residents save money if state leaders make smart choices in implementing the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.

The reports come from the Georgia Institute of Technology and from Synapse Energy and Economics. They found Colorado households could save over $300 a year on electric bills by 2030.

Elizabeth Stanton is a principal economist at Synapse.

"Colorado households, taking advantage of energy efficiency programs under the proposed Clean Power Plan, would save $27 a month on average and their bills would be $72 a month in 2030," says Stanton.

The Synapse "Clean Energy Future" scenario assumed states like Colorado would invest heavily in renewables, along with increased efficiency, to comply with the Clean Power Plan. The reports appear to contradict some critics of the Plan who claim it will lead to job losses and higher energy bills.

Stanton says the Clean Energy Future model projects more than just lower electricity costs.

"Also it not only achieves the requirements of the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan," she says. "But it actually exceeds them in terms of having even greater emissions reduction."

Stanton notes the benefits wouldn't just be felt in Colorado. On average, Clean Energy Future states could achieve a 58 percent reduction in carbon pollution.

The EPA's Clean Power Plan aims to reduce emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants by approximately 30 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO