Remember when Obama announced new EPA rules
to reduce carbon emissions? States are now on the hook for deciding how to implement the new guidelines, and environmental groups are getting the word out during what they call a critical period in forming initiatives that will influence the EPA rules.
"The public utility commission has a good opportunity right now to advance energy efficiency through investing in more aggressive [initiatives] than we are doing today," says Maureen Mulligan, policy director at the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, a speaker at tomorrow night's "Forum on Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy in Pennsylvania."
Those initiatives could mean giving residents and businesses credits for, say, installing solar panels or buying the most efficient appliances, with the goal of cleaner air and cheaper utility bills. The specifics are under review right now for what is called Act 129 Phase III
. And, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance wants this to be an important component in how Pennsylvania tackles emissions.
"The states can comply in a lot of different ways," Mulligan says. "We just think they should invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency because, afterall, the idea here is to reduce CO2 emissions."
Mulligan says that's the "cheapest, cleanest" way to meet the EPA goals, as opposed to retrofitting existing power plants. "Maybe it would be economical to retire those plants and invest in renewable."
Mulligan also says the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance supports the idea of Pennsylvania joining a regional pool of states that could share energy credits and meet the EPA mandates together.
The final EPA rules are expected this summer or early fall.
“Energy Policy at a Crossroads: Why 2015 is Pivotal for Pennsylvania”
Maureen Mulligan, Policy Director, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance; Matt Stanberry, VP of Market Development, Advanced Energy Economy; and Dan Griffiths, Executive Director of Consumer Advocates of the PJM States.
4-6 p.m. Tues., March 3
Bayer Hall, Duquesne University Campus