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PECO's energy efficiency programs
PECO's Smart Ideas programme claims to have cut consumers' electricity consumption by more than 2 million megawatt hours since its launch six years ago

In the US, customers of Philadelphia-based electric utility PECO have saved more than 2 million megawatt hours since 2009 by implementing the energy efficiency programme PECO Smart Ideas.

In a statement, the utility claims the savings in electricity consumption are equivalent to more than US$463 million achieved through energy efficiency rebates, incentives and energy savings on consumers’ monthly bills.

Energy efficiency targets

PECO Smart Ideas is part of the utility’s measures to help customers reduce electricity consumption by 2.9% by 31 May, 2016 in line with the Pennsylvania Energy Act.

The act stipulates that all utilities in the region must establish and implement energy efficiency programmes to meet the mandated targets.

The Smart Ideas programme offered 438,000 rebates for energy efficiency actions including purchasing of 12 million LED and CFL bulbs, recycling of 55,000 refrigerators, home audits and assessments, and 7,400 rebates for equipment enhancements and energy efficient construction measures.

The utility’s president Craig Adams said that PECO plans to identify more initiatives to reach an additional 5% decrease in electricity consumption by 2021.

PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation with a customer base of 1.6 million electric and more than 506,000 natural gas customers in south eastern Pennsylvania.

Energy efficiency funding

In other energy efficiency news in the US, in late September the Department of Energy offered US$70 million in funding for the establishment of a new institute for smart manufacturing research and development.

The Innovation Institute on Smart manufacturing is part of US President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation targeting to double energy efficiency in the U.S by 2030, reported Metering and Smart Energy International.

The institute will develop technology that will increase energy efficiency by a minimum of 15% and improve energy productivity by at least 50%

Commenting on the creation of the facility, Ernest Moniz, DOE secretary, said: "Smart manufacturing is a key information technology approach to unlocking energy efficiency in manufacturing.