Electricity fee will pay for energy efficiency initiatives


Ed Rendell,
Governor of Pennsylvania 
Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 2, 2007 – The governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, has suggested the introduction of a per kilowatt hour fee to be charged for electricity supplied, with the money that is raised being spent on energy efficiency initiatives such as the promotion of alternative energy sources and increased conservation measures.

The per kWh fee is expected to amount to about $5 a year for an average residential customer, and considerably more for C&I customers, but Rendell says that consumers will save more than they have to pay out in fees once the new measures are implemented. The money collected will be used to create an Energy Independence Fund, which will among other things finance grants to reimburse customers for half the cost of installing solar panels, and provide rebates to customers who buy energy efficient appliances.

Rendell believes that the fund will cut Pennsylvanian’s electric bills by $10 billion over the next ten years. Consumers in the state have been protected by rate caps introduced at the time the industry in the state was deregulated in the 1990s. These caps expire in 2010, and without some intervention electric bills are likely to skyrocket. The governor is asking utilities to examine the introduction of demand response programs as just one measure to prevent appreciably higher bills.