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Clean Power Plan Should Ease Virginia Electric Bills

New Research says an EPA plan to reduce carbon emissions should actually cut electricity bills, if it means energy efficiency as well as renewables. Photo courtesy of World Resource Insitute.
New Research says an EPA plan to reduce carbon emissions should actually cut electricity bills, if it means energy efficiency as well as renewables. Photo courtesy of World Resource Insitute.
July 27, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. – An Environmental Protection Agency plan to cut carbon pollution should actually save Virginia families money, if meeting the plan includes energy efficiency, according to two separate analyses.

Critics of the Clean Power Plan charge it will sharply raise the cost of electricity.

But research by Georgia Institute of Technology and Synapse Energy Economics finds it could actually cut utility bills by using conservation and renewable energy.

Professor Marilyn Brown from the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy says efficiency and shifting to wind, solar and biomass should make a typical utility bill somewhat smaller.

"We see a reduction of, depending on the state, anywhere from 5 to 10 percent rather than an increase," she relates.

Brown says business as usual would mean bills 9 percent higher by 2030.

The EPA is expected to announce exact details of the plan in the next month or two.

The plan to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants is part of the agency's strategy to help address global climate change.

And according to Elizabeth Stanton, a principal economist with Synapse Energy Economics, an environmental consulting firm, that would mean savings.

"Virginia households taking advantage of energy efficiency programs under the proposed Clean Power Plan would save on average $22 a month, and their bills would then be $128 a month," she states.

The big coal and oil corporations, and their allies in Congress, are waging an all out fight against the Clean Power Plan. Still, several opinion polls find popular support for EPA plans to cut carbon emissions.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA