PUC Releases Reports Showing Act 129 Energy Efficiency Program Could Deliver $3 Billion In Benefits Over Next 5 Years
On March 2, the Public Utility Commission released a study showing the new 5-year energy efficiency targets for utilities required by Act 129 are cost-effective and could return $3 billion dollars in benefits to Pennsylvania electric customers.
These benefits could be captured at a savings of $1.65 for every dollar spent.
"Energy efficiency investments under Act 129 will continue to deliver big savings to Pennsylvania's electric customers and propel energy efficiency job growth statewide," said ulian Boggs, Policy Director for the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance.
The study demonstrated that as investments in energy-efficient lighting offer less potential for new savings than in previous years, building weatherization upgrades and improvements to HVAC and refrigeration can continue to generate cost-effective savings for electric customers.
Often, these savings are realized over longer time periods and represent a more significant investment in the enhanced efficiency of Pennsylvania’s homes and businesses.
“As utilities shift from lighting into more substantial efficiency measures, deep and sustained savings will become the new normal for Pennsylvania electric customers,” said Boggs.
The potential in the study was significantly constrained by Act 129’s investment cap, further emphasizing that, without the current investment restraints, much greater savings could be achieved.
Already, Act 129 efficiency and conservation programs have delivered $6.4 billion in benefits back to consumers by reducing energy consumption across the grid and avoiding the need for new, expensive power upgrades.
Pennsylvania boasts more than 68,000 energy efficiency jobs across diverse fields such as engineering, sales, manufacturing, technology, and construction; the bulk of these are stable, well-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.
In the absence of investment caps, Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency industry could add an additional 30,000 jobs.
Both the Senate-- Senate Bill 232 (Killion-R- Delaware)-- and House-- House Bill 193 (Quinn-R-Montgomery)-- have introduced bipartisan proposals to expand the Act 129 electric utility energy efficiency program, but neither bill has moved out of Committee since they were introduced in January of 2019.
For more information on Act 129, visit the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Act 129 webpage.
[Posted: March 4, 2020]
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