The recent release of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan highlights the issue many are taking with the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from existing power plants. The EPA hopes its many changes will increase the overall energy efficiency of these plants and other buildings.
Research previously released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that under the initial draft of the plan, more than 50 percent of the emissions would be cut simply by using more energy efficient means.
Energy efficient practices have many benefits including job creation and reducing harmful pollutants in the atmosphere. In addition, energy efficient programs are two to three times cheaper to implement than generating power from traditional sources.
The final ruling on the EPA change also includes a newly proposed early credit program for energy efficiency savings achieved in 2020 and 2021 throughout low-income communities. It also clarifies a few particular issues, which aim to increase the number of states that will participate in the act.
"Energy efficiency is generally the cheapest, fastest and most readily available path for states looking to achieving substantial emissions reductions, while maintaining affordable and reliable power for their citizens," said Steven Nadel, executive director of ACEEE.
As many as 24 states have already experienced energy efficiency savings and 41 states have adopted national model building codes.
In addition, more than 30 percent of the U.S. industrial electricity sector's needs are being met by combined heat and power efficiency.