Study Finds “Significant” Greenhouse Gas Savings with Demand Response; Group Urges EPA to Incorporate in Clean Power Plan

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Advanced Energy Management Alliance commissions Navigant study showing systemwide greenhouse gas reduction with demand response.

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Empowering Consumers Through Demand Response

The Advanced Energy Management Alliance (“AEMA”), a coalition of demand response providers and consumers, was founded on the principle that adoption of demand response programs would lead to a number of beneficial outcomes, including reductions in carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emissions. A new study confirms that implementation of demand response programs will reduce CO2 emissions significantly.

The study, "Carbon Dioxide Reductions from Demand Response"--commissioned and released November 25 by AEMA and conducted by Navigant Consulting, Inc.--finds that demand response can directly reduce CO2 emissions systemwide by between 1 and 2 percent. To appreciate the significance of this figure, a one percent reduction in CO2 emissions is equivalent to a removal of 19.5 million metric tons--or roughly the CO2 output of six coal-fired power plants. As a result of these findings, Navigant concludes that demand response should be “a strategic part of implementation” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ("EPA") Clean Power Plan.

On June 2, 2014, the Obama Administration released a proposal known as the “Clean Power Plan” that aims to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. The draft rule requires individual states to develop plans for achieving emission reductions, including the adoption of “demand-side energy management.” In its most recent draft, EPA did not explicitly identify demand response as a tool for states to achieve reductions. Navigant’s study clearly underscores the opportunity to achieve substantial CO2 reductions directly through demand response programs.

“Navigant’s study makes it clear that demand response should be a key component of any regulation of carbon dioxide pollution,” states Katherine Hamilton, Executive Director of AEMA. “Significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved through the implementation of sophisticated demand side management programs, including demand response. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, demand response is a proven resource that keeps the electric grid reliable and saves consumers money.”

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Katherine Hamilton
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