On March 9th, 2016, I attended the PA Chamber’s Energy & Environmental Forum held at the Harrisburg University of Science & Technology.
The event featured PUC Chairman Gladys Brown, Senator John Yudichak, Minority Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the PA Chamber’s Kevin Sunday.
A few highlights included:
- Phase 1 of Act 129 saved consumers $4.2B. This is $2.40 for every $1 of program money spent.
- Phase 2 isn’t complete yet but projections are around $1.66 for every program dollar spent.
- Phase 3 which will begin June 1st, 2016 will have behavioral goals as many of the low-hanging fruit such as lighting retrofits have been implemented.
- Combined Heat & Power (CHP) is expected to be a big part of Phase 3. The PUC held two hearings in 2014 about merits of CHP. As a result, the commission is proposing the EDCs and natural gas utilities come forward with plans to enable CHP.
PUC Chairman Gladys Brown stated:
“We’re asking EDCs to report mechanisms and tariffs to help CHP grow and natural gas utilities to provide special natural gas rates for CHP owners. These are integral to our efficiency plans.”
Senator Yudichak indicated bipartisan support for offering state assistance to projects like CHP that bring environmental and economic benefits to end users and the Commonwealth as a whole. Expect more of these types of projects to be supported going forward.