Published by Public News Service
RICHMOND, Va. – If done right, cutting carbon could come with lower electric bills.
Some energy analysts have said that for a while, and a study
from the Georgia Institute of Technology is now affirming it.
The cheapest kilowatt is the one you don’t use, so according to study author Marilyn Brown, the key is energy efficiency.
She says when new air pollution rules that reduce carbon emissions are met with changes that include conservation, they can make a huge difference for Virginia consumers.
“A lot of analysts say that the Clean Power Plan is going to bankrupt the nation,” she relates. “But what we’re showing is in fact if done wisely we can save consumers money and also prevent fossil fuels from heating up the planet.”
The study found without the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, Virginia consumers can expect to pay 19 percent more in a decade and a half. But with it, state homeowners could pay nearly $200 a year less.
The fossil fuel industry and its political and economic allies continue to argue that the Clean Power Plan will restrict the economy and force consumers to make sacrifices.
But Brown says Georgia Tech researchers found little support for that view.
She says much of the kind of energy efficiency required to meet the Clean Power Plan essentially should be invisible to those who use the electricity.
“Energy efficiency is not taking warm showers and drinking cold beer,” she assures. “It’s not suffering. It’s not consuming less in order to cut your bills. It means using energy more wisely, purchasing and using equipment in a more efficient manner.”