Energy efficiency and conservation are the least expensive and cleanest forms of energy.
Energy efficiency can reduce the need to invest in expensive new energy generation capacity and electricity grid infrastructure upgrades.
Increasing the energy performance of buildings and using energy more efficiently in industrial processes reduces energy costs and avoids or reduces pollutant emissions.
According to ACEEE’s 2013 Energy Efficiency Scorecard, Pennsylvania ranked 19th in the nation with respect to energy efficiency policy.
Some actions Pennsylvania has taken to promote energy efficiency include:
- Requiring (through Pennsylvania Act 129 of 2008) electric utilities to invest in programs to help consumers increase their energy performance. According to Optimal Energy Inc., for the first two years of the Act 129 program, each dollar spent on the program delivered roughly eight dollars in savings for electricity ratepayers. These benefits represent a $278 million annual savings for ratepayers, in addition to lifetime avoided carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking 4 million cars off of the road, and the creation of over 4,000 jobs.
- Establishing the Keystone HELP program to provide low-interest loans to help homeowners make cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades.
Optimal Energy, Inc., Pennsylvania 2013 – 2018 Energy Efficiency Goals, 2011. http://www.pennfuture.org/UserFiles/File/FactSheets/Report_Act129goals_20111220.pdf