Implementation of the new requirements coming via the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan will result in the lowering of consumer electricity rates in Virginia, according to a new report from Public Citizen.
The new report — “Clean Power, Clear Savings” — states that, under the Clean Power Plan, electricity rates might rise slightly, before then dropping. The projected net effect will then be that bills will be slightly higher in 2020, and then decline steeply thereafter in 2025–2030 (potentially lowering average bills by as much as $147 a year). The report also notes that Virginia’s electricity consumption is currently expected to decrease by up to 8.4% by the year 2030.
As it stands, the Clean Power Plan is expected to lower countrywide power generation emissions by 30% by 2030 (as compared to 2005 levels).
As per the plan, individual states have a lot of leeway as far as their approach to lowering emissions. There’s also the option of compliance coming either individually or as part of regional groups, and strategies can be mixed as well — with energy efficiency measures, electricity generation changes, and lowered consumption, etc, all being considered fine pathways to compliance. Virginia’s pathway utilizes a fair number of energy efficiency measures according to revealed plans.
“The Clean Power Plan is a great opportunity not just to fight climate change, but to lower Virginia’s electricity bills,” stated David Arkush, author of the report and managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “In fact, Virginia can and should go beyond the EPA’s targets when it comes to energy efficiency, saving consumers even more money and doing even more to curb global warming and extreme weather.”
“Although our legislators decry the Clean Power Plan, Virginians will actually benefit from it if we make the right decisions,” noted Irene Leech, president of the Virginia Citizens Consumer Council. “We have not yet taken advantage of the huge savings that can be achieved from energy efficiency. Hopefully, the Clean Power Plan will finally motivate Virginia to do this.”
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