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On Eve of New EPA Carbon Regs, Survey Shows Americans Overwhelmingly Support Modernizing the U.S. Electricity System

Posted by Industry News on May 29, 2014

66% Believe Power System Modernization is a Good Idea, with 74% in Support of Cutting Back Old Power Plants Through Greater Energy Efficiency and 58% Favoring the Use of Lower Emission Power Sources Even If It Costs More Money   

Washington, DC, May 29, 2014 – As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) readies its draft guideline for greenhouse gas emissions from the electric power sector under the Clean Air Act, a new survey shows that Americans overwhelmingly support modernizing the country’s electricity system.

Two-thirds of those surveyed by Zogby Analytics in a poll commissioned by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business association, said they thought it was “a good idea” to modernize the electric power system.

Seventy-four percent of Americans believe that modernizing U.S. electric power systems to use electricity more efficiently and reduce the need for old power plants is a good idea, according to the survey.

And 58 percent of Americans believe that modernizing the electric power system by scaling back the use of old power plants and adding more low-emission natural gas power generation and zero-emission wind, solar, and
hydropower is a good idea even
if it costs more money.

There is immediate opportunity to modernize America’s electric system. EPA is slated to release its draft guideline for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act as soon as June 2.

The polling results were unveiled today at a press briefing with advanced energy industry business leaders about the benefits of modernizing the electric power system through advanced energy services and technologies under the upcoming regulation. Joining AEE staff for the announcement were business leaders from several AEE member companies. Full results of the three-question survey of 1,000 respondents are available at

“We believe that EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions represents an opportunity to modernize the electric power system for the 21st century, and this new survey shows that Americans support the idea of modernizing the electric power sector by a wide margin,” said Malcolm Woolf, SVP of Policy and Government Affairs at AEE. “Advanced energy companies offer dozens of technologies and services that can be used by states to meet the EPA carbon standards and upgrade electric power service for households and businesses at the same time. As part of the $170 billion per year advanced energy industry in the U.S., our member companies stand ready to deliver on the promise of a modern electric power system that is both cleaner and higher performing.”

A recent report from AEE, Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, described 40 specific technologies and services available for states to consider in developing compliance plans for EPA’s standards and detailed their emission reduction and broad electric power system benefits. The report is available for download at:

CEOs and other top executives from AEE member companies testified to the benefits of their companies’ technologies and services in modernizing the electric power system as well as reducing carbon emissions from power generation.

“For 30 years and in about half of U.S. states, we have proven that making homes and businesses more energy efficient saves money and lowers demand on existing power plants,” said Steve Cowell, Chairman and CEO of Conservation Services Group. “It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency is a winning solution for the economy and the environment, and doing more of it multiplies those benefits.”

“There are revolutionary new technologies that can help utilities cut their carbon emissions, boost their bottom lines, and empower people worldwide to save energy and money,” said Alex Laskey, President and Founder of Opower. “Embracing behavioral energy efficiency alone could abate 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution and save families $2.2 billion every year. And this is just one solution among many. ”

“The state-of-the-art natural gas-powered energy facilities that CPV develops, owns and operates are building the bridge to the advanced energy economy,” said Doug Egan, CEO of Competitive Power Ventures. “Our high-efficiency and low emitting facilities are more efficient and operationally flexible, and use the best in-class technology to bring consumers on-demand electricity.”

“The U.S. electricity sector is responsible for about 40% of this country’s carbon emissions, which presents a huge opportunity for renewable energy to provide significant reductions,” said Susan Reilly, CEO of RES Americas and Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Wind Energy Association. “Land-based wind energy is an efficient, scalable, and cost-effective source of carbon-free electricity. Wind is no longer an alternative – it’s an imperative for the electric power system of the 21st century.”

About Advanced Energy Economy

Advanced Energy Economy is a national association of businesses and business leaders who are making the global energy system more secure, clean and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. AEE and its State Partner organizations, which are active in 23 states across the country, represent roughly 1,000 organizations in the advanced energy industry. Find out more at


Topics: Press Releases