Lighting efficiencies can brighten state’s path to Clean Power Plan goals
(A version of this post originally appeared in the Minnesota Electrical Association’s September newsletter.)
On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the Clean Power Plan (CPP) final ruling.
The CPP establishes specific carbon emissions reduction targets for each state, as well as guidelines for the development, implementation, and submittal of state energy plans. Under the CPP, states are given flexibility to adopt programs and strategies that will be most helpful in reaching their goals.
Although the CPP focuses on reducing emissions at individual power plants, it also recognizes the significance of energy efficiency as an important and effective approach that many states are already using. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that over 50% of the CPP’s emissions reduction goal could be met by energy efficiency initiatives, which are actually much cheaper than building cleaner generation or retrofitting existing power plants.
Within the scope of basic energy savings measures, lighting retrofits continue to offer one of the quickest paybacks and easiest ways for business owners to save money.
In Minnesota, most utilities offer appealing incentive programs for lighting upgrades. CEE’s One-Stop Efficiency Shop® works directly with qualified small businesses in Xcel Energy’s Minnesota service territory. One-Stop offers substantial incentives — up to 60% of the total project cost — as well as additional options like below market-rate financing and completion and submittal of all program paperwork to help CEE’s clients easily negotiate and benefit from the rebate process.
This year, the One-Stop program celebrates our 15th year helping Xcel Energy achieve efficiency savings goals at the state level. Since 2000, we have helped save 114 megawatts and 404,000 megawatt-hours, and disbursed $49 million in rebates to 12,170 program participants. Those savings add up — and each watt saved today brings us closer to CPP compliance, all while improving small businesses’ monthly bottom lines and employee comfort.
More about the Clean Power Plan can be found at www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/clean-power-plan-existing-power-plants and ACEEE’s blog at aceee.org/blog/2015/06/states-dont-need-gamble-epa. For more information about CEE’s One-Stop Efficiency Shop for small business lighting upgrades, please contact Cindy Kelly at 612-244-2427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.