Energy Policy

States & D.C. Continue to Ramp Up Goals to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Legislation in D.C. Would Increase Renewable Energy Mandate

Many states are taking the initiative to address climate challenges by reducing their carbon footprint. Nineteen U.S. governors have joined the United States Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.1 That includes support for carbon-free energy sources such as nuclear, solar and wind to reduce total carbon emissions.2

In early December, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously approved expansion of its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard by passing the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently signed the bill, and it is expected to take effect once the Congressional review period closes in mid-to-late March. The bill mandates that 100 percent of the District’s electricity come from renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind, by the year 2032.

The adoption and expansion of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) is one of the many tactics that state governments are using to meet their carbon reduction goals. An RPS requires energy suppliers to derive a percentage of their electricity supply from renewable generation resources.3

Suppliers meet the renewable source requirements by obtaining renewable energy certificates (RECs). RECs are issued when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource.”4 This bill requires suppliers providing service in the District to obtain RECs from renewable resources located within the regional electricity grid.

What Does This Mean for Customers?

By placing compliance obligations on the energy companies that serve customers, the RPS-style legislation requires suppliers like Constellation to contribute to the state’s clean energy goals. The District’s updated renewable portfolio standards encourage energy suppliers to offer more diverse portfolios, including renewable energy and other carbon-free solutions, that commercial and industrial businesses can choose from to power their businesses. These solutions offer customers the opportunity to more proactively limit their carbon footprints.

Currently, commercial and industrial businesses, and residential homes account for more than 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.5

To learn more about how the legislation might impact your energy bill or discuss available carbon-free and renewable energy options, contact your Constellation representative and subscribe to our communications at www.constellation.com/subscribe. Our team of energy experts continues to closely monitor new developments and share insights with you, so you can make informed decisions about your energy usage.

References

  1. https://www.usclimatealliance.org/publications/2019/1/29/new-mexico-governor-michelle-lujan-grisham-joins-us-climate-alliance
  2. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a4cfbfe18b27d4da21c9361/t/5ac2a48788251b32d784d11a/1522705544491/US+Climate+Alliance+-+Talanoa+Dialogue+Submission+-+April+Final.pdf
  3. http://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/renewable-portfolio-standards.aspx
  4. https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/renewable-energy-certificates-recs#certificate
  5. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

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