Pennsylvania's Energy Saving Law Works Wonders

THE PennFuture Energy Center for Enterprise and the Environment released a new study by Optimal Energy detailing the impact of energy savings law, on Pennsylvania's businesses, environment, families and economy.

"The energy savings law is an unqualified success," said Courtney Lane, Senior Energy Policy Analyst for Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) (U.S.). "Thanks to Act 129, Pennsylvanians have succeeded in cutting demand for electricity by 2,073 gigawatt-hours (GWh) — 41 percent greater than required by the law; racked up savings of $278 million annually for our families and businesses; and gained 4,000 job years (job years are measured as one full-time job for one year). We have also reduced air pollution that leads to global warming significantly, cutting 23 million tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the installed energy efficiency measures, the same as taking four million cars off the road for a year. And the cherry on the top is that our electricity grid is becoming more stable, along with electricity prices, every year this programme is in force.

"And these successes come at a very low cost," continued Lane. "For every dollar spent on Act 129 programmes, customers receive $8 in energy savings over the life of the measures. The energy savings law has truly been a triple win: for our citizens, our economy, and our environment. Now, we need to stay on that winning path."

The utility energy savings law, Act 129, became law on October 15, 2008 with the promise of curtailing energy demand, creating jobs, and reducing pollution. The Act was to achieve these goals by requiring Pennsylvania electric utilities to reduce their overall electricity load by 1 percent by May 31, 2011 and 3 percent by May 31, 2013, and to reduce peak demand by 4.5 percent by encouraging electric customers to take up cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation programmes. Optimal's analysis of the Act 129 data through May 31, 2011 shows that every utility exceeded its first Act 129 goal of a 1 percent reduction in electricity consumption with the exception of West Penn Power.

"The facts are clear," said Lane. "Act 129 works for everyone, and the Public Utility Commission (PUC) should take action to extend the programmes and keep Pennsylvanians moving forward with new jobs, less money wasted, and cleaner air."

Picture of Philadelphia by Kevin Burkett reproduced under CCL.

Wednesday 21st December 2011

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