APPA: We need more energy efficient building codes

Washington, D.C., March 2, 2011 Members of the American Public Power Association's Legislative and Resolutions Committee approved 11 resolutions at its annual legislative rally, including calling for increased energy efficiency in model national building codes and seeking protection for end-users in the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

With regard to energy efficient building codes, APPA believes that more efficient buildings will result in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reduce electric utilities' need to build or contract for new power generation, reduce associated demands on the power grid and stress on natural gas supplies, improve local air quality and save money for electric consumers.

As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission develops the regulations required to implement the Dodd-Frank Act, there are some important elements that are critical to public power systems' continued ability to stabilize energy supplies and keep prices reasonable for consumers. 

Many public power systems use over-the-counter derivatives to hedge the prices of natural gas, electricity, and other energy and energy-related commodities. By entering into a hedging transaction, a public power system can effectively lock in the price of a commodity and ensure that the utility will not face substantial losses or be faced with having to pass higher costs through via rate adjustments to consumers should the market price of the commodity increase substantially.

Other resolutions include support for coordination among federal agencies and utilities with regard to smart grid implementation and efforts to maintain and improve the reliability of the nation's electric grid.

More than 500 locally elected and appointed officials, legislative experts, and APPA members attended the rally Feb. 28-March 3.

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