Suzanne Potter/ California News Service
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s electric bills will go up about 2 percent over the next 15 years if nothing changes in the state’s energy policy, but consumers actually would save about $1,400 over that same period as the state implements the Clean Power Plan, according to a new report.
Georgia Institute of Technology just released a study that looked at the impact of the federal Clean Power Plan on power bills. And while California already has virtually stopped using energy from coal-fired power plants, researchers found that energy efficiency is the key to low-cost integration of cleaner energy and to staving off climate change.
“Energy efficiency is not taking cold showers and drinking warm beer,” says Marilyn Brown, the report’s author. “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.”
Many other states rely heavily on coal and can comply with the Clean Power Plan by reducing their dependence on so-called dirty energy over the next 15 years.
The report found that as they do that, households nationwide could save almost $1,900 on their electricity bills.
California is ahead of the pack with an ambitious goal of getting 50 percent of its power from renewables by the year 2030.
Sachu Constantine, director of policy at the Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego, says the Golden State is ramping up large and small scale solar.
“So we still have incentive programs for individual customers to site renewable energy on their rooftops,” he states. “Now we’re starting to think about how you include storage with those kinds of resources. “
The Environmental Protection Agency projects that by 2030 the Clean Power Plan will significantly improve air pollution and in so doing help avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in children each year.