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Report: California Industry Could Save Billions With Energy Efficiency

A pair of new reports show California manufacturing could save billions with energy efficiencies.(Pengyou/iStockphoto)
A pair of new reports show California manufacturing could save billions with energy efficiencies.(Pengyou/iStockphoto)
September 27, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Even as oral arguments begin today in federal court on a challenge to President Obama's Clean Power Plan, two new studies show that California's manufacturing sector could save billions by working toward the plan's goals.

The studies, done by Georgia Tech and The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, found that, compared with doing nothing, California industry could save $8.4 billion a year on its energy bills by 2030, and $80 billion over a 15-year period, money that could be used to develop new products or modernize their plants.

Jennifer Kefer, the executive director of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency said clean energy is not an either-or proposition.

"Our report demonstrates very clearly that one can cut carbon while saving money," she said. "I think we have exposed the myth that clean energy and manufacturing competitiveness have to be in conflict."

Researchers also found that in a business-as-usual scenario, energy bills for industry in the state would rise almost 50 percent in the next 15 years, but would fall dramatically if they improve energy efficiency, which would help California comply with the Clean Power Plan.

Kefer said that nationwide, industrial energy efficiency alone could reduce carbon emissions by 175 million tons in 2030.

"That's equal to the emissions from 46 coal-fired power plants, about one-third of the carbon targets in EPA's Clean Power Plan," Kefer explained. "At the same time, we found that achieving that target would slash business utility bills, saving them $298 billion."

The Georgia Tech study also found that producers of petroleum, coal, food, chemicals, and plastics stand to save the most money on their energy bills. In 2015, these industries employed 850,000 workers in California.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA