PUC Approves Plan to Allow Allegheny Power Customers the Option to Support Wind Power Development
Published on 8/7/2008
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a plan to allow customers of Allegheny Power (West Penn Power Co.) to purchase alternative energy credit (AECs) to support the development of wind generation.
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the voluntary plan saying that programs such as this provide incentives for the early development of alternative energy generation and enable customers to directly support renewable energy projects. Vice Chairman James H. Cawley made a statement. A motion by Commissioner Tyrone J. Christy to increase consumer education on the plan passed unanimously.
“This voluntary plan to support alternative energy is a good idea, but customer choice must be an informed choice,” Commissioner Christy said. “It’s important that customers receive easily understandable information not only at the start of this program but throughout its duration to ensure they have the opportunity and understanding necessary to participate.”
AECs place a value on the generation of alternative energy. One AEC is created when one megawatt hour of alternative energy. Money collected from the purchase of AECs is used toward the development of alternative energy generation projects such as wind.
Under the plan, customers may voluntarily purchase blocks of 100 kwh of wind energy renewable attributes. The rate per block would be $2.50, which would be in addition to the regular monthly cost per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed by the customer. The customer will be able to designate any number of blocks to be purchased per month, up to 100 percent of the customer’s total energy used. The company will begin informing customers of the program through bill inserts.
The Commission said the Allegheny plan furthers the goals of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004. The AEPS Act requires that a certain percentage of all electric energy sold to retail customers within the Commonwealth be derived from alternative energy sources. By 2021, electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers must supply 18.5 percent of electricity using alternative energy resources.
Since the passage of the AEPS Act, the PUC has moved expeditiously to develop the rules and regulations necessary for fostering Pennsylvania’s alternative energy market and has implemented a Web site to make information about AEPS available to the public in a user-friendly manner. Visit the PUC Web site for a link to the AEPS Report.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our Web site at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket Nos. P-00072349; R-00072753; R-00072754
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