Sustainable Energy Fund Recommends Commission Cap PPL Revenues

Sustainable Energy Fund

For Immediate Release

(Allentown, PA) – In testimony filed today with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Sustainable Energy Fund (“SEF”) opposed PPL’s proposed rate increase in that it continues to align utility profits with increases in energy use, negatively impacts economic growth and is in part based on decreased revenues that have not yet and may never occur.

SEF’s Director of Technical Services, John Costlow stated that “under PPL’s proposal the distribution portion of the average residential bill will increase 27%.” Costlow continued that “those that use the least will see the greatest increases.”

Mr. Costlow points out that PPL proposes to increase the residential customer charge, a portion of the distribution charge, 82% and institute a demand charge on all commercial customers. Consequently, a residential customer who only uses 350 kWh per month will see their distribution charges increase 36.5% and a customer who uses 1500 kWh per month will see their distribution charges increase 17.9%. This move is part of a progression on PPL’s behalf to charge a flat rate for distribution regardless of how much electricity you use.

Over the next several years Pennsylvania and utility customers will spend more than a billion dollars to reduce their energy use and associated costs. One of the goals of the investments is to reduce utility bills leaving families with more disposable income. Utility bill savings are a significant driver of economic growth and jobs. A recent study by Oppenheim & MacGregor shows that nationally for each one million dollars invested in energy efficiency utility bill savings drive more than five million dollars in economic activity and associated jobs.

When speaking about customers who save energy Mr. Krall, PPL’s Manager of Regulatory Strategy, testified that “they are harming utility investors because the utility’s rate of return will be reduced until rates can be reset in a future proceeding.”

Mr. Costlow stated, “PPL’s proposal essentially takes back hard earned savings from customers who have reduced their usage” he continued “this is a drag on the local economy and a threat to jobs, the very two things we do not need right now with more than 590,000 Pennsylvanian’s out of work.”

As one of its recommendations to the Public Utility Commission, SEF proposed a cap to limit PPL’s revenues and better align PPL’s profit motive with its customers desire to reduce usage and cost.

About SEF- Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) is a private non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy and education initiatives in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. SEF seeks out, focuses on, and invests in economically viable, energy related businesses, projects, and educational initiatives that create innovative, market-based technologies and solutions to enable environmentally sound and sustainable energy use. Headquartered in Allentown, SEF finances certain projects in the eastern PJM grid, which includes New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. By offering financial incentives that promote sound energy strategies, SEF can help municipalities, school districts, non-profits, farmers, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, transportation companies and other businesses save energy and reduce costs. SEF also provides educational services which include the Sustainable Scholars, Solar Scholars®, Wind Scholars, and the Sustainable Energy Conference being held in Easton this year.