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Report: Manufacturers in Minnesota to Save Big on Energy Costs

Arguments begin today over the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. (epa.gov)
Arguments begin today over the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. (epa.gov)
September 27, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS – As the merits of the EPA's Clean Power Plan are argued at an appeals court today, recent data is adding more backbone to arguments in favor of the rules to reduce carbon emissions. Separate reports from Georgia Tech and the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency show how implementation of the Clean Power Plan can boost competitiveness for manufacturers in Illinois and other states.

Douglas Jester, a principal with clean energy consultant 5 Lakes Energy in Michigan, said it's clear that energy efficiency strategies reduce energy bills.

"These studies have shown that industrial customers of electric utilities save money if the utilities follow the policies driven by the Clean Power Plan rather than business as usual," he said.

The Clean Power Plan calls for Minnesota to reduce emissions by 34 percent compared wit 2012 levels.

The executive director of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, Jennifer Kefer, said savings from industrial energy efficiency can be invested in plant modernization, product improvements or job creation. And she contended that the reports dispel the myth that clean energy and manufacturing competitiveness have to be in conflict.

"By investing in industrial efficiency we can reduce emissions while simultaneously slashing utility bills, creating jobs and strengthening the industrial sector," she explained. "And those benefits are really spelled out in the findings of our report pretty dramatically."

According to the Alliance report, industrial energy efficiency can save businesses nearly $300 billion from avoided electricity purchases. The Georgia Tech analysis also found energy savings for industry under Clean Power Plan compliance, nearly $40 billion annually.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MN