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Clean Power Plan

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of its Clean Power Plan, the agency’s effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants built before 2012. Since the proposed rule was issued as a draft over a year ago, utilities, state regulators, consumer advocates, and environmental groups have speculated about the final form, and what it might require. This isn’t the first rule that could spur substantial changes within the electricity sector.

Investing in high levels of clean energy and widespread energy efficiency programs can save money for a majority of households in each of the contiguous states, according to a Synapse modeling study released today. The analysis, part of a series of briefs on the impacts of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan on consumers, shows that households participating in state-sponsored efficiency programs can save an average of $35 on their monthly bills in 2030. Even non-participants will save money in 16 states.

The National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) yesterday released a technical document identifying a wide range of technologies, programs, and policies that agencies might employ to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The document, Implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Menu of Options, contains 26 chapters, each exploring a different approach to reducing emissions.

The flexibility of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plans allows for many potential pathways to compliance, and state consumer advocates now have a roadmap to navigate their decision-making process. Synapse today published a report on behalf of the National Association for State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) that will help consumer advocates work with other state agencies and stakeholders to develop a compliance plan that not only meets EPA’s emissions targets but protects consumers from shouldering the burden of excessive implementation costs.

The EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan allows states the flexibility to collaborate with each other to develop plans on a multi-state basis to meet compliance targets. State agencies and advocates examining such opportunities for cooperation can use Synapse’s Clean Power Planning Tool (CP3T), now with multi-state functionality, to analyze the challenges and opportunities associated with regional compliance.

Synapse projects in its 2015 Carbon Dioxide Price Forecast that the cost of emitting one short ton of carbon dioxide in 2020 will be $15-$25, rising to $25-$54 in 2030 and $45-$120 in 2050. Synapse forecasts Low, Mid, and High CO2 price trajectories annually for planning purposes, to provide electric utilities and other stakeholders with a reasonable range of emissions costs that can be used to evaluate long-term resource investment decisions.

Synapse CEO and founder Bruce Biewald presented on energy efficiency as a resource for compliance with EPA’s Clean Power Plan at the 2015 NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference in Washington, DC on February 5. His presentation, part of a panel on privately delivered energy efficiency, included a discussion of how analysis using Synapse’s Clean Power Plan Planning Tool can help to understand and estimate the benefits of energy efficiency as an element of state CPP compliance plans.

If New Hampshire backed out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), it would result in higher bills for New Hampshire consumers and would eliminate the least expensive way for the state to comply with upcoming federal regulations, Synapse’s Dr. Elizabeth A. Stanton testified on Thursday.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Stanton presented on the impact of EPA's Clean Power Plan to consumers at the NASUCA 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco last week. She was joined by Synapse CEO Bruce Biewald (second from right) in presenting Implications of EPA’s Proposed “Clean Power Plan”: Analyzing Consumer Impacts of the Draft Rule, a Synapse report that will serve as a common resource to help NASUCA’s members think through a broad range of potential implications of various compliance approaches to their respective consumers.

Clean Power Plan Planning Tool (CP3T): A walkthrough of Synapse’s free tool for state compliance

Register today for a free webinar with Synapse’s Patrick Knight, CP3T developer

Date: Friday, November 21, 2014

Time: 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. EST

Register for Webinar: Click here

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