What is Act 129?

Pennsylvania’s Act 129 – the Utility Energy Efficiency Act – is the commonwealth’s landmark energy efficiency law. The law requires each of the seven Pennsylvania electric distribution companies to reduce energy demand and consumption within its service territory. Utilities meet energy reduction targets by implementing programs to improve lighting and appliance efficiency, insulation, and even encourage customers to adopt energy-saving habits.

Following the creation of KEEA’s 2007 Energy Action Agenda, KEEA developed legislation that would require electric utilities to conserve energy. Under the Special Energy Session called by Governor Rendell in April 2007, more than 50 bills were under consideration by the House and Senate. Because of the challenges posed by the pending expiration of electric rate caps, KEEA focused on legislation that would offer energy efficiency programs to utility customers. Ultimately, KEEA supported Special Session House Bill 2200 and Senate Bill 35. In October 2008, after meetings with legislators, lobby days, and support from other energy groups, KEEA ensured the passage of House Bill 2200 as Act 129, the Utility Energy Efficiency Act. The act takes significant steps towards energy efficiency, energy conservation, and the reduction of peak demand.

Act 129 Today

From 2009 to 2015, Act 129 efficiency programs have delivered $4 billion in net benefits to Pennsylvania customers, and established a robust and growing energy efficiency industry in the state. Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency programs support 53,000 workers at thousands of companies across the state. The workforce includes electricians, engineers, trained technicians, financial analysts, construction workers, facility managers, software developers, and other specialists.

On June 1, 2016, Phase III, a five-year extension of Act 129, began. Phase III requires a 1% reduction by May 31, 2011, a 3% reduction in consumption by May 31, 2013, and an attendant 4.5% reduction in peak demand by May 31, 2013. KEEA continues to monitor the implementation of Act 129, and works to protect this law from anti-energy efficiency legislation.

For details on the plans and progress, go to the PUC Act 129 web page.