PennFuture Wins Major Victory before Public Utility Commission
Energy efficiency programs benefitting families and businesses upheld by 5 – 0
PITTSBURGH -- December 07, 2012
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) won a major victory for
Pennsylvania’s families and businesses with a 5 – 0 vote by the Pennsylvania
Public Utility Commission (PUC) to deny requests by PECO and FirstEnergy to
lower their investments in energy efficiency programs. This decision means
Pennsylvanians throughout the state will be able to save energy and reduce
their electricity bills by using programs mandated by the PUC.
“This is a resounding victory,” said George Jugovic Jr., PennFuture’s
president and CEO. “PennFuture played a key role getting this law passed but
it would have withered on the vine if the two energy giants opposing us – PECO
and FirstEnergy – had gotten their way. They wanted to stamp out the new round
of energy savings goals set by the Public Utility Commission, but we stood
against them to ensure energy savings would be preserved for electric
“The two PennFuture staff members who led our efforts – Courtney Lane, our
senior energy policy analyst, and our staff attorney Heather Langeland – are
truly Jill the Giant Killers,” continued Jugovic. “Their indefatigable
advocacy and outstanding expertise allowed us to receive this early holiday
present for the people of Pennsylvania. Our families and businesses will have
lower bills and more efficient homes and businesses, our electricity grid will
be more secure, air and water pollution will decrease, and all Pennsylvanians
will have more reliable electricity service.
“I am proud and honored to lead the amazing PennFuture staffers, who create
victories for Pennsylvania’s environment and economy every day,” said Jugovic.
“We continue to move forward, representing ordinary citizens before courts and
regulatory bodies, in Harrisburg and across the Commonwealth, and in the court
of public opinion.”
The landmark Energy Savings Law has been in effect for three years, creating
utility programs available to all electricity customers to eliminate waste,
reduce energy use, and give customers lower bills. Pennsylvania customers save
approximately $278 million annually, and the state’s electric load was reduced
by 3,535 gigawatt hours. Based on this success and at the urging of
PennFuture, the PUC voted on August 2 of this year to extend the programs
thorough May 2016.
PECO and FirstEnergy (representing its companies Med-Ed, Penelec, PennPower,
and West Penn) filed petitions before the PUC to reduce their Phase II
programs; PECO also attempted to exclude portions of PennFuture’s testimony
demonstrating the clear benefits of the programs. Both companies were
unsuccessful in their demands.
PennFuture worked with the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Sierra Club/Clean
Air Council in defending the Phase II requirements. Other organizations,
utilities, and utility user groups also intervened in both the PECO and
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization, founded in
1998. PennFuture’s activities include litigating cases before regulatory
bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing
legislative action on a state and federal level; public education; and
assisting citizens in public advocacy.
PennFuture has staff throughout the state, in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg,
Philadelphia, and Wilkes-Barre. The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture
the “state’s leading environmental advocacy organization;” the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette named the organization “one of the 10 most influential groups on
the issue of natural gas drilling;” and StateImpact Pennsylvania, an online
collaboration of NPR stations across the state, called PennFuture “the
commonwealth’s main environmental advocate.”
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future
Jeanne Clark, 412-736-6092
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