Friday, February 02, 2007

Governor Proposes Energy Plan in PA

The Harrisburg Patriot-News:

Gov. Ed Rendell proposed a sweeping energy plan yesterday that he said would cut overall electric bills by $10 billion over 10 years and promote energy conservation and alternative fuels.

With the plan, large parts of which must be approved by the Legislature, Rendell hopes to stabilize electricity prices once rate caps expire for the state's largest utilities in 2009 and 2010...

The plan would encourage conservation. Consumers could volunteer for time-of-use pricing, which allows for lower rates during off-peak hours. It would also provide financial incentives for installing rooftop solar panels that can create heat and electricity and for trading in old refrigerators and air conditioners...

In addition, all electricity consumers would pay a new tax of 0.05 cents per kilowatt-hour on their electricity usage. The new "system benefit charge" would create a fund of about $850 million to pay for subsidy programs.

Rendell said the charge would cost homeowners an average of $6 a year and would be capped at $10,000 a year for large industrial customers.