Energy Efficiency can lower electricity bills that Pennsylvania citizens pay, as well as reduce carbon emissions.
Many folks in PA, however, have limited ability to make energy efficiency improvement on their own. The good news is, there are programs available to help. Learn more about ways to improve access to energy efficiency methods to lower costs and at the same time help the environment.
Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA)
The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania is part of a statewide effort with PA Utility Law Project (PULP), Keystone Energy Efficiency for All (KEEA), ACTION Housing, the National Housing Trust, and the Natural Resources Defense Council to link the energy and housing sectors together in order to tap the benefits of energy efficiency for millions of low-income families. Current work includes educating our network about the Act 129 energy efficiency programs for multi-family buildings from electric companies across the state, including rebates and free services.
Act 129 Electric Use Reduction Programs
The General Assembly enacted Act 129 to require Pennsylvania’s seven largest electric distribution companies (EDCs) to develop energy efficiency and conservation plans (EE&C) and adopt other methods (smart meters, procurement and alternative energy sources) of reducing the amount of electricity consumed by customers. The General Assembly charged the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) with implementing Act 129 and guiding consumers and electric utilities toward achieving the legislation’s overall goals of reducing energy consumption and peak electric demand.
Power Companies and their Multifamily Act 129 Programs:Utility companies offer similar rebate and incentive programs to encourage their customers to make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient. Programs include low income, multi-family and general public. Programs offer education, installation of appliances and/or light bulbs, insulation, and energy audits. Many of these offerings are at a reduced rate, or are free, depending on the level of income of the residents. See below for links to the utility companies' programs, for more detail on specific offerings.
- Duquesne Light Company
- To find out more about Duquesne's various programs visit https://wattchoices.duquesnelight.com/Home/EnergyEfficiencyRebateProgram.cfm
- First Energy (Includes Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power, and West Penn Power)
- Save energy and money by taking advantage of their listed programs and tools. Find out more here: https://www.peco.com/WaysToSave/ForYourBusiness/Pages/Default.aspx
- UGI is dedicated to delivering the highest levels of efficiency options and savings to customers. See below for more information.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides grants to states, territories, and some Native American tribes to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families (single family homes). These governments, in turn, contract with local governments and nonprofit agencies to provide weatherization services to those in need using the latest technologies for home energy upgrades.
This program is currently in operation and available in PA for residents. Applicants that qualify will receive an onsite energy audit to assess the conditions in the home and to identify the most cost effective energy saving measures. Click here to find out more about the program, and to apply.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Crisis Services
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat. The program will reopen November 1, 2016. There are three ways to apply- online through Compass, a paper application or in person. To find out more click here.
Clean Power Plan:
On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Carbon Pollution Emissions Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, also known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Clean Power Plan sets carbon dioxide emission standards for power plants and establishes customized goals for states to reduce carbon dioxide. Part of these goals can include increases in utilization of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. These goals can be met by switching to clean power sources, but also by reducing demand through energy efficiency and conservation. Pennsylvania is working on its Clean Power Plan. It was scheduled to be released for public comment in early spring 2016 but the US Supreme Court has stayed the CPP’s implementation nationally.
Clean Energy Incentive Plan (CEIP)
The final Clean Power Plan included the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) -- a program designed to help states and tribes meet their goals under the plan by removing barriers to investment in energy efficiency and solar measures in low-income communities and encouraging early investments in zero-emitting renewable energy generation. States may choose to implement this incentive program for early action. EPA recently accepted comments on the CEIP. The Housing Alliance joined with other members of Energy Efficiency for All to submit comments. Click here to read the submitted comments.