ACEEE Outlines Policies for Energy-efficient Pennsylvania

Energy efficiency improvements can save Pennsylvania consumers nearly $5 billion each year on energy bills and help create 27,000 new, local jobs by 2025, according to an analysis released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), an independent, nonprofit research group based in Washington, D.C.

The study, which was led by ACEEE with support from a team of national energy experts, examines the potential for greater energy efficiency, demand response, and onsite solar energy use in Pennsylvania and suggests a suite of policies to tap into the Commonwealth's energy savings potential and reap substantial economic benefits.

Potential for Energy Efficiency, Demand Response, and Onsite Solar Energy in Pennsylvania is available for free download at http://www.aceee.org/pubs/e093.htm or a hard copy can be purchased for $65 plus $5 postage and handling from ACEEE Publications, 529 14th St, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045, phone: 202-507-4000, fax: 202-429-2248, e-mail: aceee_publications@aceee.org.

The report notes that last year the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed major energy legislation to establish a clean energy fund and to set near-term energy savings goals for electric utilities. "With these recent steps, and with federal economic stimulus funding available to the states for energy efficiency improvements, Pennsylvania is poised to catapult forward its commitment to energy efficiency and other clean energy strategies," said Maggie Eldridge, lead author of the report.

The report suggests a suite of energy efficiency and solar energy policies and programs beyond existing commitments that would help reap substantial economic benefits, including:

  • A statewide home retrofit program, expanding upon two existing Home Performance with Energy Star programs now operating in Pennsylvania;
  • Stronger energy codes for new buildings and expanded efforts for code implementation and enforcement;
  • A long-term Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, which extends energy savings goals for electricity utilities beyond 2013 and expands goals to natural gas utilities;
  • Incentives for consumers, installers, and manufacturers for onsite solar energy, such as photovoltaics and solar hot water heating;
  • An industrial initiative to expand industry-specific energy efficiency expertise and offer energy assessments and efficiency expertise to manufacturers;
  • Workforce development coordination among various state and local entities;
  • Expanded demand response capabilities to help shift energy use from peak periods to off-peak periods;
  • Appliance efficiency standards beyond those set at the federal level.

"Each individual policy recommendation can help set Pennsylvania on a path toward a clean energy future," said Eldridge. "And together, these actions can work holistically to substantially tap into the energy-savings potential in the Commonwealth, meeting up to a quarter of the state's electricity needs by 2025 while savings consumers billions of dollars and creating tens of thousands of new jobs."

The report is the latest in a series of ACEEE analyses on state opportunities for energy efficiency and other clean energy resources. For more information on ACEEE's research on state-level energy efficiency, visit http://www.aceee.org/energy/state/resources.htm.

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