PUC Implements Phase III of the Act 129 Energy Efficiency Program, Establishing Additional Consumption Reduction Requirements
Published on 6/11/2015
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved the implementation of a five-year third phase of the Act 129 Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) programs, requiring additional, incremental reductions in consumption and peak demand for Pennsylvania’s largest electric distribution companies (EDCs).
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the Implementation Order, which addresses issues related to the design and implementation of the next phase of the EE&C programs. As part of the adoption of this Order, the Commission will adopt a five-year phase of the Act 129 EE&C Program that will operate from June 1, 2016, through May 31, 2021.
Chairman Gladys M. Brown and Commissioner James H. Cawley issued a joint motion addressing the proposed prohibition on dual participation in PJM Interconnection’s Emergency Load Response Program, and Act 129’s Demand Response Program, by the same customer.
Commissioners Robert F. Powelson and Pamela A. Witmer issued statements.
The EDCs’ current (EE&C) plans are valid through May 31, 2016, at which time the law directs the PUC to re-evaluate the costs and benefits to determine if the EE&C programs should continue. By initiating this planning process well in advance of 2016, the Commission intends to facilitate a smooth transition to minimize any possible program lapses as EDCs move into the third phase of the program.
The Implementation Order addresses:
- The timeline for implementing Phase III;
- The length of Phase III;
- Inclusion of consumption reduction requirements;
- Inclusion of peak demand reduction requirements;
- Inclusion of a reduction carve-out for the government, educational and non-profit sector;
- Inclusion of a low-income sector reduction carve-out;
- Program design issues;
- Other transition issues; and
- Program cost-recovery issues.
On Oct. 23, 2014, the Commission issued a Secretarial Letter seeking comments on the implementation of a third phase of the EE&C Program. In addition, the Commission held a stakeholder meeting on Dec. 2, 2014, to provide interested parties an opportunity to identify additional issues and concerns regarding the design of any future EE&C program and to address any questions regarding the topics and issues presented in the Phase III Secretarial Letter.
On March 11, 2015, the Commission issued for comment a Tentative Implementation Order on the future of EE&C programs established under Act 129.
Act 129 became law on Oct. 15, 2008, and included implementation of EE&C programs that would produce usage reductions to meet legislatively mandated targets through May 31, 2013. On Aug. 2, 2012, the PUC issued a Final Implementation Order adopting a three-year Phase II Act 129 EE&C Program that operates from June 1, 2013, through May 31, 2016.
Act 129 also addressed issues such as electric utility and default service provider responsibilities; conservation service providers; smart meter technology; time-of-use rates; real-time pricing plans; default service procurement; market misconduct; alternative energy sources; and cost recovery.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No. M-2014-2424864
Deputy Press Secretary
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