COLUMBUS – The Clean Power Plan is expected to be finalized soon, and two new reports refute opponents’ claims that the plan will increase electric bills for Ohioans.
Synapse Energy Economics developed a scenario that includes investments in renewables and energy efficiency, and found nationally the average household participating in energy efficiency programs can save $35 on its electric bills in 2030.
Report co-author Elizabeth Stanton says the savings vary state to state, depending on the type of investments.
“Ohio households taking advantage of energy efficiency programs under the proposed Clean Power Plan would save $31 a month in 2030, and on average their bills would be $75 a month,” she states.
Bills would also be lower under a clean power path model developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology. Its report shows reduced emissions and electricity costs would result from the implementation of renewable and energy efficiency policies, along with a modest price on carbon.
Critics claim the standards will jeopardize jobs in the coal industry, but a public policy professor at Georgia Tech, Marilyn Brown, says the findings also reveal a clean power pathway would be good for both the economy and for job creation.
“You spend a lot more on labor when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable systems than you do in the generation of electricity for large power plants, whether it’s nuclear, coal or natural gas,” she explains.
Coal provides approximately 67 percent of electricity in Ohio, and the state ranks fifth nationally for total carbon emissions.
Under the Clean Power Plan, Ohio is expected to reduce carbon emissions 28 percent by the year 2030.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to finalize the measure this summer.