Pennsylvania's Gov. Rendell says energy independence plan will save $10 billion

There are a few states that continue to pop up on AutoblogGreen: California, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania (OK, that last one is a commonwealth). This means that, either, a.) they are moving furiously on green car initiatives or b.) they have well-run PR offices. I suspect it's a bit of both, but whatever the reason, there's more news out of Pennsylvania.
On Thusday, state officials briefed businesspeople on the purported $10 billion savings that would result from Gov. Edward Rendell's energy independence plan (media release pasted after the jump). For an $850 million investment in the state's renewable energy production facilities and technologies, the state should save about a billion dollars a year over the next ten years and grow jobs as well as green energy. Rendell announced his strategy at the end of January, and the auto-related bits are money for more ethanol and biodiesel production, and installing smart meters in the state, which will help pave the way for PHEVs.

[Source: Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development]

Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell's Energy Independence Strategy Will Save Billions, Curb Reliance on Foreign Oil

DCED Official Briefs Mid-State Business Leaders

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One day after House members introduced legislation based on Governor Edward G. Rendell's energy independence plan, a Department of Community and Economic Development official briefed mid-state business leaders on the plan's $10 billion cost savings, new development in Pennsylvania's renewable energy sector, and expansion of Pennsylvania's energy production.

"The Governor's Energy Independence strategy is the first serious step the state has taken to avoid dramatic energy costs for Pennsylvania's consumers and businesses and develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the state's dependence on foreign oil," Executive Deputy Secretary John Blake told representatives of Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry county businesses at the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce Building.

"This strategy will also help Pennsylvania create new economic opportunities and develop new technological advances in an industry that is growing exponentially," Blake said. "By making the investments called for in this plan, we can create nearly 13,000 new jobs and put Pennsylvania among the leading states working towards an energy independent future. The General Assembly should move swiftly to enact this strategy."

The Energy Independence Strategy will make an $850 million investment that will help Pennsylvania achieve three key goals:

-- Save consumers $10 billion in energy costs over the next 10 years;

-- Expand Pennsylvania's energy production and energy technology sectors
to create more jobs; and

-- Reduce Pennsylvania's reliance on foreign fuels and increase
Pennsylvania's clean energy production capacity.

Pennsylvania's renewable energy industry has grown tremendously and the demand for these projects outpaces the state's resources, Blake said. As a result, Pennsylvania has missed out on tens of millions of dollars in economic development.

"More than 2,500 jobs have been created in Pennsylvania's clean energy sector, but since funding is limited, we're only able to support 10 percent of the requests for energy dollars and we're losing out on at least $100 million in potential investments every year," he said. "There is no reason Pennsylvania should not lead the nation in conservation and in the creation of new energy sources."

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission estimates that an average, medium-sized commercial business spends about $10,524 per year on electricity. Governor Rendell's Energy Independence Strategy provides new options to reduce that expense.

-- A grant or loan through the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority
to fund an energy efficiency and demand management project would reduce
electricity use by automatically turning off lights in unoccupied rooms
and monitoring energy prices and reduce usage at times when prices are
highest. An earlier Pennsylvania demand management project resulted in
savings of 40 percent for a commercial office, with even greater
savings in a warehouse setting. That translates to an annual savings of

-- Installing a 20 kW solar system through the Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar
Initiative would save a company about $2,100 a year. It could receive a
rebate of up to $25,000 for installing the technology.

-- Instituting measures like time-of-use rates, long-term contracts and
least-cost portfolio to reduce demand across the entire electricity
system. This can save a medium-sized commercial customer an estimated
$526 each year.

Funding for the Energy Independence Strategy will be generated by a minimal charge on electric power consumption. Similar charges are in place in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The charge is proposed at $0.0005 per kWh of electricity used.

For more information on the Energy Independence Strategy, visit

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