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Climate rule to bring lower energy bills, report says

States can significantly lower electricity bills for consumers and businesses if they take the right steps in complying with the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants, a new report concludes.

Specifically, Synapse Energy Economics analyzed what would happen if states focused their efforts on expanding carbon-free energy production and energy efficiency programs, and found big savings.

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“For the two-thirds of residential consumers who participate in ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs under this scenario, 2030 bills are expected to be $35 per month lower than in a business-as-usual ... scenario and, on average, $14 per month cheaper than residential bills were in 2012,” Synapse concluded.

Synapse’s findings go further than predictions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which also forecasts lower energy bills, but only by about $8 per month compared with what would have happened without the climate rule.

And it contrasts with the conclusions of many opponents of the regulation, who predict higher energy bills as a result. The Chamber of Commerce forecasts that the direct and indirect effects of the rule would cost individual families an average of $200 per year.

Synapse’s report, funded by a foundation that advocates for renewable energy, also concluded that the United States’s electricity sector will cut its carbon emissions 58 percent by 2030, almost double what the climate rule actually calls for.