The Democratic Party’s plan to boost energy efficiency would have the opposite effect of its intended goals of reducing emissions, cutting energy costs and promoting clean energy, the American Action Forum details in a new report issued Tuesday.
Instead of focusing on energy efficiency, the conservative think tank recommends scarcity pricing, which requires that consumers pay more when electricity is in high demand and less when demand is low, to drive down energy demand and encourage clean energy.
It also recommends doing away with energy-efficiency regulations, which it says stymie innovation and have cost U.S. households nearly $1,350 over the past decade.
The study takes a close look at the Democratic Party platform issued last month during the convention in Philadelphia and focuses on one of the party’s top energy proposals: Increasing energy efficiency regulations to reduce energy demand and increase clean energy.
“We will cut energy waste in American homes, schools, hospitals and offices through energy efficient improvements; modernize our electric grid; and make American manufacturing the cleanest and most efficient in the world,” the Democratic platform says. “These efforts will create millions of new jobs and save families and businesses money on their monthly energy bills.”
The American Action Forum’s study concludes that raising energy efficiency isn’t so simple and can’t be achieved without the consequences of higher prices, less innovation and more emissions.
First, raising efficiency in the hopes that it will increase renewable energy resources isn’t as simple as the party would like to believe. Increasing energy efficiency reduces demand for electricity, which would stifle wind and solar power, the report finds.
“The problem with this line of thinking is that there are sources of electricity that generate power with virtually zero environmental impact,” said the report obtained by the Washington Examiner. “If you adopt a policy that reduces the demand for electricity, you are also reducing the demand for clean energy.
“Even worse, the biggest beneficiaries of increasing electricity demand are new energy sources — which are all cleaner than current coal plants,” the report said. “Regulating efficiency standards creates a market where there is less need to innovate and keeps us using the same dirty power plants.”