Benchmarks are measures of performance across an industrial sector. When used in connection with specific energy, environmental, and economic policy, states and provinces can use benchmarks to enhance the competitiveness of individual industries through greater energy efficiency.
Building on industrial benchmarking work already undertaken by states, provinces, regional initiatives and other organizations, the Industrial Benchmarking Working Group will develop benchmarking approaches that may be used by any jurisdiction that wishes to use benchmarks for its programs and policies. Some jurisdictions may use benchmarks for allowance allocation in an emissions trading program, others in regulatory performance standards, and still others in implementing efficiency performance standards and targets in incentive-based programs. Development of a common approach to benchmarks will allow for a dialogue with federal agencies (such as EPA as part of its efforts under 111(d)) as well as industry stakeholders that might be interested in participating with a large group of states and provinces on the principles of benchmarks.
After educating itself on the relevant approaches to benchmarking and its effect on industry, this group will recommend benchmarking policies that can be used as a performance standard, as an allocation method in a cap and trade program, and as voluntary incentive mechanisms. This group will begin with the refinery sector, but will expand to other sectors that the group deems appropriate. During this effort this group will also address EPA’s upcoming greenhouse gas regulation for refineries in order to assist states comply with their requirements efficiently and effectively.