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House Energy Bill Provision Provides Energy Savings Potential
A reduction in electricity rates, carbon dioxide emissions and conventional power plant construction is possible due to the measures in the Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) provision approved by the House earlier this year, according to a recent analysis.
The analysis of the House Energy Bill (H. R. 3221) RES by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found the provision would in 2030 reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 121 million metric tons (MMT), save 22 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity usage, create 41,000 net new jobs, and displace a total of 16,000 MW of conventional powerplant construction.
This would save electricity customers $3.1 billion in 2030 and a cumulative $35 billion through 2030. Part of these benefits stem from the RES allowance for energy efficiency to qualify for up to 27 percent of resource requirements. The House RES provision’s national standard requires 15 percent of electricity sales to be provided through renewable sources by 2020.
"This analysis dashes the notion that RES raises electricity rates. Our modeling shows that the RES reduces power prices, customer bills, and capacity needs in all parts of the United States," says Bill Prindle, ACEEE policy director. "Since renewable and efficiency resource standards also cut carbon emissions, they should be the cornerstones of U.S. energy and climate policy for the power sector."
A more aggressive set of renewable and efficiency standards, a 15 percent RES coupled with a separate 15 percent Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, would produce even greater benefits, according to the analysis. This "15-15" policy package would by 2030 avoid another 105,000 MW of new powerplants, reduce electricity prices by up to 0.7 cents per kWh, save an additional 480 billion kWh of electricity usage per year, and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by another 590 MMT per year. The "15-15" policy would also create another 166,000 net new jobs in 2030 beyond the House RES.