Governor Edward
G. Rendell
 
Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 10, 2008 - The Pennsylvania government on Wednesday approved an energy efficiency and conservation bill, including provisions for smart metering.

In terms of the bill, which now goes to state governor Edward G. Rendell for signature, electric distributors are required, within nine months from the date of enactment, to file with the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) their smart meter technology procurement and installation plan. Smart metering must be provided to any customers that request it and in new building construction, and as replacement for all meters older than 15 years.

By the start of 2010, or at the end of the applicable generation rate cap period, whichever is later, the distributors will be required to submit their proposed time-of-use rates and real-time price plans to the PUC, which will give approval or modification within six months.

The distributors also will be required, with the consent of the customer, to make available direct meter access and electronic access to customer meter data to third parties, including electric generation suppliers and providers of conservation and load management services.

The bill directs the PUC to put in place an energy efficiency and conservation program by January 15, 2009, requiring the electric distributors to adopt and implement cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation plans. In turn the distributors must then develop and file their plans by July 1 of 2009, with targets of a minimum reduction in consumption of 1 percent by May 31, 2011 and of 3 percent by May 31, 2013.

There also must be a minimum peak demand reduction of 4.5 percent over the 100 highest use hours by May 31, 2013.

The bill has been more than a year in the making as the state government, utilities and consumer advocates have endeavored to reach agreement, and was approved by significant majorities in both the Senate and the House on their last working day before the November election.