News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

White Paper Urges Owners of Coal-Fired Power Plants to Make Energy-Efficiency Investments

In a recent white paper entitled “Avoiding a Train Wreck: Replacing Old Coal Plants with Energy Efficiency”, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (“ACEEE”) encouraged owners of coal-fired electric power plants to make energy-efficency investments to counter the impact of changes in fossil fuel markets and implementation of updated environmental regulations.

According to ACEEE, those market and regulaory changes “put on the order of 40,000 megawatts of coal-fired electric generation at risk of retirement.”  In certain Midwestern States (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin), ACEEE estimates that a total capacity of 25 giggawatts is at risk.  This is approximately 16.4% of the total summer capacity for those states.

ACEEE believes that “energy efficiency represents a low-cost energy resource that could be called upon to meet a significant portion, if not all of the electricity capacity that could be lost due to coal plant closures.  Significant energy efficiency resources are available in the at-risk states.  These resources are less expensive than investments required to bring existing coal plants into compliance or to construct new generation capacity, and can be deployed much more quickly.  As a result, including efficiency as part of the utility resource plans for at-risk states will minimize the costs of meeting future electricity needs.”

Clearly, some new ideas need to be employed by the electric power industry to continue meeting the public’s demand for electricity and, at the same time, meeting the government’s demand that the environment not be harmed in the process.  Energy efficiency should be part of this conversation.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments. To set up a free initial consultation to discuss your legal matter, please contact Chicago environmental attorney Dave Scriven-Young at (312) 239-9722 or

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