ACEEE's Maggie Eldridge, Research Associate, for the Pennsylvania General Assembly House Consumer Affairs Committee Hearing on Act 129 of 2008 Implementation

Testimony

Author(s)

Maggie Eldridge

Description:

ACEEE applauds Pennsylvania’s enactment of Act 129 and the state’s efforts to ensure timely and successful implementation of energy efficiency programs that promote a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and improved energy security for Pennsylvania.

Our organization, in cooperation with nationally recognized experts on demand response and clean distributed energy, has conducted a detailed analysis of the potential for greater energy efficiency, demand response, and solar energy in Pennsylvania. The findings of the report suggest that there is a large resource potential for greater, cost-effective energy efficiency in Pennsylvania, enough to meet about 30% of the state’s energy needs by 2025. The report suggests a suite of policies and programs, such as those required by Act 129, that tap into the efficiency and solar resource and offer significant benefits to Pennsylvanians. Our analysis estimates that a robust suite of efficiency policies and programs can lower consumer energy bills each year by $5 billion by 2025 and create a net 27,000 jobs by 2025.

The successful implementation of Act 129 will begin to move Pennsylvania toward a more energy-efficient future such as that modeled in our analysis. However, more is needed to ensure that the Commonwealth taps the full potential benefits of energy efficiency. Sustained commitments toward Act 129 electricity energy efficiency programs in the near term and extending the program requirements beyond 2013 will help to ensure continued success. To benefit a wider group of consumers in the state, a natural gas energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) and efficiency programs for heating oil and propane customers will also be needed to help Pennsylvania achieve the greatest potential benefit from efficiency. Also, new commitments to building energy code enforcement and compliance activities will ensure long-term, locked-in savings for the built environment.