HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a settlement of PPL Electric Utilities Corp. (PPL) plan to offer its customers a Voluntary Alternative Energy Program and allow them to purchase Alternative Energy Credits (AECs) to support the development of alternative energy.
The Commission voted 4-1to approve the voluntary plan saying that programs such as this provide incentives for the early development of alternative energy generation and enable customers to directly support renewable energy projects. Vice Chairman Tyrone J. Christy dissented.
AECs place a value on the generation of alternative energy. An AEC is created each time a qualified alternative energy facility produces 1000 kWh of electricity. The AEC is then sold or traded separately from the power. Money collected from the purchase of AECs is used toward the development of alternative energy generation projects such as wind.
Under the program, residential and small commercial and industrial customers will be able to purchase AECs on a voluntary basis to support the development of alternative energy sources. The AECs for the program will come from wind sources and from large scale hydropower sources.
Under the plan, customers may voluntarily purchase one or more blocks of 100 kWh of AECs per month. The rate per block would be $2.50, which would be in addition to the regular monthly cost per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed by the customer. The program will be capped at 3.3 million blocks over the term of the program, which expires on May 31, 2013. The company will begin informing customers of the program through bill inserts, direct mail and e-mail.
The Commission said the PPL plan furthers the goals of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004. The AEPS Act requires that a certain percentage of all electric energy sold to retail customers within the Commonwealth be derived from alternative energy sources. By 2021, electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers must supply 18.5 percent of electricity using alternative energy resources.
Since the passage of the AEPS Act, the PUC has moved expeditiously to develop the rules and regulations necessary for fostering Pennsylvania’s alternativeenergy market and has implemented a website to make information about AEPS available to the public in a user-friendly manner. Visit the PUC website for a link to the AEPS Report.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket Number P-2008-2021398