HARRISBURG, PA — On Monday, March 2nd, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) released the Act 129 Phase IV Energy Efficiency and Peak Demand Reduction Market Potential Study. The study, required by Act 129 of 2008, demonstrated that new 5-year energy efficiency targets for utilities are cost-effective, and will 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.
Julian Boggs, Policy Director for the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance said, “Energy efficiency investments under Act 129 will continue to deliver big savings to Pennsylvania’s electric customers and propel energy efficiency job growth statewide.
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.
Boggs commented on the advantages of the projected industry transformation. “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 dollars 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.
KEEA is Pennsylvania’s trade association for the energy efficiency industry. Our membership, comprised of seventy companies, ranges from small local firms to large multinational corporations and operates across the value chain of energy efficiency. We engage our membership and key policymakers in support of an industry that accounts for more than 68,000 Pennsylvania jobs. The policy we promote at the state and local level expands the market for energy efficiency.