On June 16, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed with Fresh Energy’s recommendations and announced updates to its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a voluntary program that helps states meet their Clean Power Plan goals by encouraging investments in clean, renewable energy in the two years before the first compliance deadline.
- On June 16, the EPA released its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), responding to feedback from the public, states and industry experts to make the program even more effective and achievable.
- The proposed CEIP includes provisions to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in low-income communities and communities of color.
- The CEIP is another example of the Clean Power Plan’s flexibility, and illustrates how the EPA is working with states and stakeholders to collaboratively reduce carbon pollution and tackle global warming.
- We can’t wait. The Minnesota public expects both the state and national leaders to take action to cut carbon pollution, and Fresh Energy and the state of Minnesota have commented to the EPA that they want Minnesota to take full advantage of the CEIP and the demonstrated economic opportunity that clean energy provides.
Some of the most exciting new pieces in the CEIP adopt suggestions made by Fresh Energy and by the state of Minnesota in comments submitted to the EPA during the public comment period in December 2015.
Key proposed changes include:
- Inclusion of solar projects that specifically benefit low-income communities as CEIP-eligible projects
- Inclusion of demand-side energy efficiency programs as CEIP-eligible projects
- A flexible approach for states to use in defining “low-income communities” in order to better fit the economic makeup of individual states
- Clarification on how EPA will provide “matching” compliance credits to states participating in the CEIP
In keeping with EPA’s efforts to-date in reducing states’ administrative burdens in implementing the Clean Power Plan, the EPA has also provided examples of specific regulatory text that a state can use when incorporating the CEIP into the state’s larger compliance plan. Ultimately, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is tasked with working with utilities and customer stakeholders to craft a state compliance plan that provides optimum health, economic, and environmental benefits while minimizing negative impacts.
Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, there will be a 60-day public comment period.