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The renewable electricity standard (RES) in the pending House and Senate energy legislation, if adopted, would cut consumer energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), as well as stimulate job growth, according to an analysis done by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

According to ACEEE, which authored the five-month study, the RES would, in 2030, reduce CO2 emissions by 100 million metric tons, save 22 billion kWh of electricity usage, create 21,000 net new jobs, and displace a total of 32 conventional power plants with a generating capacity of 500 MW each. This proposal would save consumers $5 billion in 2030 and a cumulative $60.5 billion through 2030.

The direct energy-efficiency savings and the indirect impacts of efficiency and renewable energy on natural gas and coal prices more than offset the slightly higher cost of renewable energy, according to the report.

The study further examined these renewable and efficiency policies against a climate policy framework similar to the Lieberman-Warner America's Climate Security Act under consideration by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

These scenarios showed even greater benefits in terms of lower energy prices, greater consumer savings and a stronger economy from setting RES and resource targets.

"Renewable electricity and energy-efficiency policies should be cornerstones of our climate policy," says Bill Prindle, ACEEE's policy director. "By enacting the RES in the energy bill, Congress can make the best down payment possible on reducing carbon emissions in the electricity sector."

For more information on the report, visit aceee.org.

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