Peco submits plans to boost energy conservation

Peco Energy Co. on Monday filed plans with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to step up offerings of energy efficiency programs next year, including a proposal to offer bill credits to customers who allow the utility to manage their wireless thermostats during peak-energy periods.

Peco's new plan, which would go into effect next June, is aimed at reducing overall customer energy use by 5 percent, or about 2 million megawatts, by May 31, 2021 and to reduce customer demand by 161 megawatts during high-use periods.

The plan would maintain the utility's array of "Smart Ideas" rebates and incentives put into place to comply with Pennsylvania Act 129, a 2008 law that forced utilities to reduce customers' energy consumption and demand or face penalties. Utilities are allowed to recover the costs of the conservation measures with higher rates.

The new offerings would include enhanced online tools to provide customers more ways to track how they use energy, said Ben Armstrong, a Peco spokesman.

The plan also includes a new program that would provide a bill credit to customers who volunteer to use "advanced in-home devices," including responsive thermostats, to manage their air-conditioning during times of high energy use.

The plan requires PUC approval.

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