Pennsylvania's latest green energy news: more ethanol and money for smart meters

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell announced his Energy Independence Strategy. The EIS calls for more ethanol production in the state, lots of smart meters in homes and an Energy Independence Fund.
The ethanol news is not too surprising. Lots of ethanol plants are being built in the state totaling 340 million gallons of annual production. This, on top of 60 million gallons of biodiesel made in the state each year, is what the Governor is hoping will bring Pennsylvanians to make and use one billion gallons of biofuels a year by 2017.

The smart meter plan, good for energy producers to spread generation throughout the day and for reducing consumer costs, is also key to widespread PHEV adoption. Rendell said power companies would have to "prove they have aggressively pursued [smart metering] before getting approval to build new generating plants." Consumers would get the right to have smart meters installed in their homes. It may not seem like a big deal, but I'm sure the EDTA is watching this new closely.

As for the Energy Independence Fund, it's a charge on each kWh of electricity used by individuals, and commercial and industrial businesses. The funds collected ($0.0005 per kWh, or about 45 cents a month for most residential customers) would go to fund:
  • $244 million - Household appliance rebates and PA Sunshine Grants
  • $106 million - Venture capital, grants and loans for expansion of energy companies
  • $500 million - Clean energy projects and development or equipment costs for specific energy economic development projects
All that for less and two quarters a month? Sounds like a plan. If you're hungry for details, go here.

[Source: State of Pennsylvania]

Share This Photo X