Enabling a Full Policy Portfolio
Combating the climate crisis requires bold action that unites the full capacity of the federal government with efforts from every corner of our nation, every level of government, and every sector of our economy. These actions will require some combination of an inclusive transition to a clean, renewable grid; energy efficiency across our nation’s homes, buildings, industrial plants, and transportation sector; and the electrification of fossil fuel-using equipment and vehicles. This is nothing short of market transformation. To minimize disruption and accelerate change, approaches should be harmonized from the top down, from federal legislation to state, local, and tribal government policies and utility program design. EPA’s climate partnership programs can fuel this transition with unbiased information, performance specifications, and national platforms that drive sub-national action across a full climate portfolio.
States, cities, and tribes with expertise on policy and implementation often have limited access to funding and other resources, making it challenging to develop and implement climate policies. To help, EPA’s partnership programs provide a suite of off-the-shelf tools and policy guidance that these governments can use to cost-effectively develop and implement policies that are based on widely adopted tools and approaches.
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool powers local building benchmarking ordinances
Commercial buildings are responsible for the majority of emissions within a city. A growing number of cities and states now require these buildings to measure and disclose their energy performance. All of them—covering 100,000 buildings and 11 billion sq. ft.—have elected to use EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool, a cost-free, industry-standard platform, collectively saving the governments tens of millions of dollars in IT costs they’d otherwise have to spend creating or buying another software tool—and saving building owners the costs of complying with mandates using different systems.
ENERGY STAR provides the platform for more than 840 utility energy efficiency programs
More than 840 utilities leverage ENERGY STAR to help design and market their efficiency programs. Together, these programs, unified under a common framework, reach 97% of American households.
EPA’s off-the-shelf tools help drive state and local climate action
EPA maintains a suite of tools to help state, local, and tribal governments inventory their greenhouse gas emissions and quantify the energy, economic, emissions, and health impacts of various climate solutions.
Greenhouse gas inventory tools enable critical first steps
Last year, EPA’s State Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Projection Tool was downloaded by more than 250 state officials, academics, and NGOs representing 46 states and D.C. In addition, more than 600 people accessed EPA’s free Local and Tribal Greenhouse Gas Inventory Tools. Both tools allow users to customize their own inventories of greenhouse gas emissions, which is a critical first step in climate action.
AVERT: guiding state plans
EPA’s Avoided Emissions and Generation Tool (AVERT) evaluates how energy efficiency and renewable energy policies affect harmful air emissions at a county, state, or regional level. Arkansas and Clark County, Nevada, recently used the tool to quantify their emissions reductions as part of their state implementation plans.
COBRA: quantifying co-benefits
EPA’s CO-Benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) Health Impacts Tool quantifies the health benefits of various efficiency and renewable energy policies. The New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan used COBRA to estimate that installing 2,400 MW of offshore wind would save $73-165 million in health-related costs across the Northeast.
Innovative approach quantifies the health benefits of each kilowatt hour
EPA’s health benefits per kilowatt-hour (BPK) values monetize the health benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy, specifically from reductions in fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The values are peer-reviewed and easy to use, saving government officials significant time and money and helping them with their planning.
Download The Power of Partnership for infographics, stories, and more examples of how EPA's Climate Partnership Programs drive private sector action.