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Reports Predict Lower Electric Bills for Maine Under Clean Power Plan

Critics claim the federal plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants will raise electricity prices, but a pair of reports suggests it'll mean lower bills for Maine families. Credit: Bes Z/Flickr.
Critics claim the federal plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants will raise electricity prices, but a pair of reports suggests it'll mean lower bills for Maine families. Credit: Bes Z/Flickr.
July 27, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine – Two new studies find the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to cut carbon pollution from the nation's existing power plants makes a lot of financial sense for consumers.

One of the reports is from Synapse Energy Economics. The group's principal economist, Elizabeth Stanton, says that with participation in energy efficiency programs, the average U.S. household could save $35 per month on electric bills by 2030. The savings locally would be even greater.

"Maine households taking advantage of energy efficiency programs under the proposed Clean Power Plan would save $4 a month on average and their bills would be $28 a month in 2030," she points out.

Stanton says with investments in energy efficiency, the Clean Power Plan could exceed the goal of a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions.

The other report is from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Professor Marilyn Brown says the institute’s modeling also predicts lower electricity bills – not higher as some critics claim. She says a clean power pathway could also be very good for the economy and job creation.

"You spend a lot more on labor when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable systems than you do in the generation of electricity from large power plants, whether it's nuclear, coal of natural gas," she stresses.

While the Clean Power Plan isn't expected to be finalized until later this summer, Maine already is taking a lead on energy efficiency and renewable systems, ranked as 16th best in the nation by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - ME