Energy Efficiency: The 2015 Sea ChangeGreen Energy News, December 1, 2014
No, I’m not talking about changes in sea level. Instead, I’m talking about the myriad of changes in energy efficiency that 2015 is likely to bring. It started in 2014, which marked a turning point for energy policy. With the announcement of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan in June, electric generators across the country will soon be required to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030. The EPA has indicated that it will allow states discretion in determining how it meets the carbon reduction goals, and energy efficiency is one means available to states to comply. Since energy efficiency has been demonstrated to be among the least cost-prohibitive carbon mitigation activities, it could be featured prominently in states’ plans.
However, energy efficiency’s treatment under the Clean Power Plan is still a murky subject. While it is pushing states to consider how they will reduce emissions, more guidance is needed on how to include and account for energy efficiency in state plans. At the same time, state decisions on efficiency are playing out as well, largely independent of the Clean Power Plan. However, these two areas are inextricably linked, and decisions in one area impact the other.
As you can tell, energy efficiency policy will be increasingly important going into next year. As 2015 unfolds, we will see: