EPA promotes study of new approach to energy efficiency

WASHINGTON, August 9, 2001 – To support President Bush’s plan to develop new approaches for energy efficiency, EPA has awarded a $50,000 grant to study barriers blocking the use of innovative clean energy approaches and technologies that could advance the nation’s clean air goals.

The grant recipient is Northeast-Midwest Institute, located in Washington D.C., a private, non-profit research organization dedicated to economic vitality and environmental quality for Northeast and Midwest states.

EPA hopes the project will increase public understanding of how certain cost-effective, energy-efficient policies can lessen the amount of fossil fuels used, thereby reducing costs to utilities and cutting down emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide, a major global warming gas.

The project will look at the potential to create “output-based,” or “efficiency-based,” standards as a means of reducing power plant emissions. The goal of efficiency-based standards is to produce more energy and use less fossil fuel. Enhancing efficiency will help to reduce pollution and promote clean energy technologies such as fuel cells, combined heat and power and renewable sources. These standards could also save money for utilities since less fuel is needed. It would also reward power generators that produce the highest amount of energy and generate the lowest amount of air pollution. Utilities currently use “input-based” standards, which only consider the amount of fuel used.

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