States throughout the country are implementing innovative renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs that could be adopted nationwide to improve economies and reduce emissions cost effectively, as well as prove valuable as states develop plans to meet pending power plant emissions reductions regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new joint report by Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and Hoover Institution’s Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy.
States across the country are exhibiting a breadth of efforts in encouraging energy efficiency and renewable energy in ways that save money, reduce pollution and strengthen their energy security. The goal of the report is to provide a source for states to compare and contrast innovative policies, so that they can learn from each other.
The State Clean Energy Cookbook: A Dozen Recipes for State Action on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, makes specific recommendations regarding policies that states are currently using to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The report led to “an encouraging conclusion,” according to its authors, that “both red states and blue states are turning green — whether measured in dollar savings or environmental improvement.”
The report features energy-efficiency resource standards in Wisconsin; energy-efficient building codes in Mississippi; building energy benchmarking and disclosure in California and Washington; utility and customer market incentives in Arizona and Washington; renewable portfolio standards in North Carolina and Minnesota; net energy metering in Texas and Vermont; community renewables in Colorado, California, and Minnesota; renewable energy tariffs in North Carolina and Virginia; energy savings performance contracts in Pennsylvania; third-party ownership of distributed power systems in New Mexico; property-assessed clean energy in Connecticut; on-bill repayment in Hawaii and New York; and the DOE’s State Energy Program in Nebraska and Massachusetts.
These policies met several litmus tests: they are already on the books and in operation in both red and blue states; they are well-supported; and can be cost effective when well-implemented.
“States truly are the ‘laboratories of democracy’ when it comes to renewable energy and energy efficiency, adopting groundbreaking programs and policies that could provide benefits around the country,” said Jeff Bingaman, former chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who co-authored the study on behalf of Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.