Westar Energy, the largest electric utility in Kansas, has released its Westar Energy Climate Change Policy, which the company says provides a framework within which it will make decisions that affect the environment. Accompanying the policy is a set of principles that outline actions Westar Energy will take regarding climate change, including efforts reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, educating the public about climate change and energy efficiency and supporting constructive public policies and initiatives.
“We are ready to participate in sound efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Bill Moore, president and chief executive officer. “While some areas such as public policy and technology are still developing, we can take action by incorporating, where sensible, proven renewable energy resources and by educating our customers about energy efficiency and its role in reducing environmental impact.”
Westar Energy has energy calculators on its web site that allow customers to estimate the energy and financial savings of efficiency efforts they can take in their homes or businesses. Westar also plans to unveil a number of energy efficiency programs in 2008 in which customers may elect to participate.
Here’s the policy in full:Westar Energy Climate Change Policy
Westar Energy recognizes the growing concerns regarding the threat of climate change and believes our industry must take a leadership role in this debate. It must be understood that climate change is a global problem requiring global solutions guided by sound science, objective engineering and our best economic information. At the federal level the solution must be comprehensive, far-sighted and recognize all sources of greenhouse gases. The Westar Climate Change Policy and its Climate Change Principles, together represent the shared commitment of all Westar employees to protect and enhance the environment while providing safe, reliable and reasonably priced energy service.
Westar Energy Climate Change Principles
1) We will intensify our efforts to make reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to provide safe, reliable and reasonably priced energy service.
2) We will base all greenhouse gas reduction strategies on sound science, objective engineering and best available economic information.
3) We will support science-based education on climate change, its causes and how consumer choices can affect energy consumption.
4) We will support public policies and initiatives to accelerate the development and use of environmentally beneficial and cost effective strategies for:
— demand-side management,
— energy efficiency programs for both our customers and Westar’s own operations,
— zero- or low- emissions generation technologies,
— renewable energy resources, and
— carbon capture and storage technologies.
5) We will support public policies and initiatives that recognize early actions or investments made to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
6) We will support public policies and initiatives that recognize and correct for possible extreme financial consequences that could result from the imposition of greenhouse gas regulations.
7) We will support compliance timelines for greenhouse gas reductions consistent with the expected development and commercialization of technology solutions.