August 4, 2015

Obama Administration Releases the Clean Power Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its finalized version of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which provides guidance for states on developing their own plans to reduce carbon emissions. The CPP is part of the White House’s Climate Action Plan and sets a goal to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. States have until 2022 to start reducing emissions. In order to achieve this goal, the CPP lays out a menu of options for states to tackle greenhouse gases, from investments in renewables to reductions in energy use.

Enterprise Community Partners strongly encourages states to invest in renewables and energy efficient systems in affordable housing as a way to help achieve the Clean Power Plan’s goals. One way to do this is by adopting Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, the first national framework for greening affordable housing. We know it simply makes no sense to build housing that’s not green. In addition to reduced CO2 emissions, the economic benefits translate into lower operating costs for buildings, and a healthier living environment for residents.

Now there’s more bait for making green investments with the advent of the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). Additional allowances or Emission Rate Credits (ERCs) will be awarded to states for investing in energy efficiency in low-income communities if done before the 2022 compliance deadline. Many of these communities contain aging multifamily buildings in need of energy efficiency upgrades but face barriers that limit these types of investments.

Taken together, states that adopt these incentives can make a meaningful impact in reducing carbon emissions as well as bringing additional health benefits and job opportunities.

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