Without any changes in the way we produce and use electricity, Georgia households can expect an 8.4 percent increase in electricity bills over the next 15 years, while the typical U.S. household will see bills increase by 18 percent. But a new report has found that implementing the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan will cut costs. The average Georgia household would save $2,070 in electricity costs over the same period, while U.S. households could see an average savings of $1,868, said Marilyn Brown, the study’s author and the Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
There is a significant dividend for electricity consumers if states embrace energy efficiency and clean energy investments associated with state implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
The plan establishes carbon pollution goals for each state and is projected to achieve a 32 percent cut in U.S. carbon pollution from power plants by 2030 compared with 2005.
Energy efficiency is, in fact, the key to low-cost integration of cleaner energy and for reducing dirty energy sources that are fueling climate change, while significantly benefitting residential consumers, utilities, and state policymakers alike.
If Georgia’s leaders adopt the least-cost compliance scenarios, Georgia’s household electricity bills would see significant savings compared with the projected increases, while at the same time cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions significantly. Utilizing the least-cost compliance scenarios outlined in the study could generate cumulative electricity bill savings of $8.5 billion in Georgia and savings of $248 billion nationwide.
Energy efficiency offers multiple benefits. It reduces CO2 emissions and protects public health by allowing more coal to be retired and less new natural gas capacity to be built. It makes the transformation to clean power more affordable to consumers. The reduction of carbon pollution in our air will also prevent thousands of heart attacks.
The study examined the finalized August 2015 Clean Power Plan developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and can be read here.
Dr. Brown also recently released another study on clean energy savings for business and cities.