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Bill Requiring Energy Conservation, Use Reduction Approved by House
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Rep. George

The House this week passed House Bill 2200 (George-D-Clearfield) that would require electric utilities to reduce overall electric usage by 2.5 percent and peak demand by 4 percent through energy conservation programs and the installation of smart electric meters.

The legislation is similar to House Bill 2143 (Ross-R-Chester) and was adopted with bipartisan support by a vote of 152-45.

"House Bill 2200 would require utilities to reduce overall output by 2.5 percent, and peak demand -- when energy prices are at their highest -- by 4 percent," said Rep. George, who serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. "It also would direct the Public Utility Commission to change the dynamic so that utilities promoting energy conservation are rewarded rather than punished."

“Limiting demand and promoting energy efficiency are proven ways to save energy and make the best use of resources,” Rep. Chris Ross said. “Strong energy conservation and demand side management programs implemented in the next two years can go a long way to reducing the rate increases projected when electric generation price caps come off.”

Rep. Freeman offered an amendment adopted by the House that requires smart meters to be installed across the Commonwealth in 10 years. Smart meters, already installed in some areas of Pennsylvania, enable consumers to adjust electric usage to price changes.

“Smart meters are an important part of any strategy to reduce energy costs for consumers and conserve energy,” Rep. Robert Freeman (D-Lehigh) said. “Smart meters provide a direct cost savings to consumers that use them. The technology also benefits utilities by reducing energy demand at its most expensive peak period when the purchasing of energy by utilities is the most costly.”

“In the Lehigh Valley, PPL has already installed these meters for its customers, allowing the utility to more easily identify power outages and the need for repairs, thereby cutting down on customer complaints,” Rep. Freeman noted. “Smart-meter technology truly provides a win-win situation for both customers and utilities, and gets us closer to the goal of achieving real energy conservation.”

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

NewsClip: House Approves Electricity Conservation Plans, Smart Meters

House Passes Bill to Require Cuts in Electricity Use

Energy Conservation Measure Heads to Senate


2/15/2008

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