June 10, 2015
With New Federal Pollution Rule, Maine Residents Should See Lower Electricity Bills
EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Energy Efficiency Improvements Will Mean Savings for Maine Consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Maine electricity consumers will see much-needed savings as a result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, according to a new report from Public Citizen.
The report, “Clean Power, Clear Savings,” shows that Maine’s electricity consumption will fall 11.3 to 12.5 percent by 2030, according to the EPA’s notably conservative data. Maine’s electricity rates may rise slightly under the Clean Power Plan before dropping. The net effect is that electricity bills will increase slightly in 2020 before declining much more steeply in 2025 and 2030, saving the average Maine household $117 to $129 annually, Public Citizen found. Maine residents pay the 11th highest electricity rates in the country.
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, scheduled to be finalized in August, is designed to curb pollution from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. It sets targets for the reduction of carbon emissions in each state.
As part of the EPA’s plan, states can decide how to meet their targets. They can comply individually or in regional groups, and they can use a mix of strategies – ranging from improving the efficiency of existing coal-fired power plants to using energy efficiency to reduce electricity consumption. Maine’s compliance plan should include meaningful improvements in energy efficiency, which will lower consumers’ electricity bills.
“The Clean Power Plan represents a great opportunity not just to curb climate change, but to lower Maine electricity bills,” said David Arkush, author of the report and managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “Maine can and should exceed the EPA’s expectations. If state officials choose to make stronger improvements in energy efficiency, then Maine households and businesses will see even lower electricity costs.”
“We are excited to see in this report that Mainers will see lower electricity bills as a result of the Clean Power Plan,” said Jesse Graham, executive director of the Maine People’s Alliance, which represents 32,000 citizens across the state and supports the Clean Power Plan. “Many Mainers already struggle with the high cost of heating our homes each winter. If state officials choose to make stronger improvements in energy efficiency, then Maine consumers will see even lower electricity costs.”