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Incorporating Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy in State and Tribal Implementation Plans

Basic Information

Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Policies and Programs

Energy efficiency (EE) policies are laws and/or regulations enacted by a state, locality or public utility commission order which require energy suppliers or other entities to adopt energy efficient technologies and/or practices, or to undertake activities to further such adoption in the marketplace. Energy efficiency programs are initiatives designed to increase adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices in particular end-use sectors (or specific market segments within a sector) through education and outreach, financial incentives, and/or technical assistance.

Renewable energy (RE) policies are regulations, statutes or state public utility commission orders that require parties to acquire RE or to commit to funding levels for programs aimed at acquiring RE. Renewable energy programs are initiatives designed to increase the production and use of RE sources through resource development and procurement, education and outreach, financial incentives, and/or technical assistance. Examples of RE include hydropower (use of water from rivers and dams), wind energy (using wind turbines) and solar power (using the power of the sun to heat water or produce electricity).

Electric-sector EE and RE policies, programs and projects that will result in quantifiable reductions in emissions at existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units and that improve air quality in a nonattainment area can be accounted for in State and Tribal Implementation Plans.

State and Tribal Implementation Plans

A State Implementation Plan (SIP) is a plan developed by a state air pollution agency showing how that state will comply with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The SIP consists of narrative, rules, technical documentation, and agreements that an individual state will use to meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Although not required to do so, a tribe with “treatment as state” eligibility may develop its own air quality control plan, called a Tribal Implementation Plan (TIP), for approval by the EPA.  A TIP enacted by a tribal government and approved by the EPA is legally binding under both tribal and federal law and may be enforced by the tribe, EPA, and the public.


The primary audience for this initiative is state, tribal and local air agencies that develop air quality plans and are in a position to consider incorporating energy efficiency/renewable energy policies and programs in State and Tribal Implementation Plans.


The nature and function of the electric energy system is complex. To help make it more understandable, EPA is providing comprehensive training on electric energy that covers a whole range of topics, including:

  • How the electric system works
  • Characterizing energy efficiency (EE) and its benefits
  • Characterizing renewable energy (RE) and its benefits
  • Estimating the benefits of EE/RE 
  • Industrial EE as a method to comply with air rules        
  • Other energy issues, developments, and emerging technologies
  • Emissions baseline projections

For more information, go to: http://www.epa.gov/apti/video/ElectricEnergy/ElectricEnergy0212.html.


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