July 9, 2015
With New Federal Pollution Rule, Virginia Residents Will See Lower Electricity Bills
EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Energy Efficiency Improvements Will Mean Savings for Virginia Consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Virginia 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 Virginia’s electricity consumption will decrease by up to 8.4 percent by 2030, according to the EPA’s notably conservative data. Virginia’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 Virginia household up to $147 annually, Public Citizen found.
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 pollution 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. Virginia’s compliance plan should include meaningful improvements in energy efficiency, which will lower consumers’ electricity bills.
“The Clean Power Plan is a great opportunity not just to fight climate change, but to lower Virginia’s electricity bills,” said David Arkush, author of the report and managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program. “In fact, Virginia can and should go beyond the EPA’s targets when it comes to energy efficiency, saving consumers even more money and doing even more to curb global warming and extreme weather.”
“Although our legislators decry the Clean Power Plan, Virginians will actually benefit from it if we make the right decisions,” said Irene Leech, president of the Virginia Citizens Consumer Council. “We have not yet taken advantage of the huge savings that can be achieved from energy efficiency. Hopefully, the Clean Power Plan will finally motivate Virginia to do this.”