Energy Efficiency The Cheapest Way To Reduce Emissions, Six Studies Confirm

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The results from six separate economic models have confirmed that energy efficiency is the cheapest solution for helping the US to reduce C02 emissions and meet its climate change goals.
 
According to a recent article on Energy Efficiency Markets, the findings were published in a new report conducted by the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions, a non-profit organisation.
With discussions continuing about the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan - which will be issued in full this summer - the nation has been looking to increase its energy efficiency efforts.
 
Mostly targeting existing power plants, the plan will call on states to form a plan of action to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 30% over the next 15 years.
 
With this end goal in mind, the report examined six different climate studies proposed by the EPA, the Clean Air Task Force, National Economic Research Associates (NERA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Energy Ventures Analysis, and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
 
According to the report itself, "All studies project that energy efficiency will be the most used and least-cost option to implement the plan." What's more, "The studies also show that the effect of energy efficiency is large enough that overall electricity consumption declines."
 
Interestingly, researchers found that consumers will actually see the cost of power decline when using energy efficiency measures; for example, the NRDC study demonstrated that $4.5 billion per year could be saved through reduced electricity usage alone.
 
There was some variation in the results, as the authors of each model made different assumptions about how much natural gas the U.S. would use in the future, and how much it would cost. There were also concerns about the cost of energy efficiency installation, but most studies estimated that the Clean Power Plan would cost the average US household less than 25 cents per day.
 
Without the EPA's plan, however, it was likely that the US' energy production would increase by 728 TWh by 2030 - with natural gas and coal making up the majority of this amount. Furthermore, the studies found that introducing energy efficiency significantly reduced the need for energy generation, with one model eliminating the 748 TWh increase entirely.
 
The C2ES concluded that planning without energy efficiency would lead to increased generation and therefore higher prices, and that states forming their carbon reduction strategies should look to the insights found in all six studies.
 
CO2 reduction by energy management

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