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July 2010
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New energy legislation for PA consumers to keep an eye on

Energy has been a hot topic in Congress in recent years, especially under Obama’s presidency. New laws are now being proposed that could change the industry yet again. Last month in Michigan, Sen. Wayne Kuipers and Rep. Roy Schmidt proposed a new bill which would increase the amount of customers who can purchase from competitive suppliers. Previously, the state limited the retail choice to 10 of total electricity demandthe new cap would be 25. This legislation would open up the energy industry to create more efficient options in the new economy, and could be emulated by other states if it takes hold.June also saw the addition of two new commissioners to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Philip Moeller and Cheryl LaFleur. FERC serves as a watchdog committee for the consumer energy industry. Moeller supports competition, renewable energy generation, and smart grid technology, while LaFleur is experienced with energy efficiency and demand response.Finally, new energy legislation could be supported by a New England survey, after the New England Energy Alliance found that 8 out of 10 people in the region supported competition and choice in the electric industry. The figure (83) represented a five-point increase from 2009. Competition in New England already seems to be working, with an amazing 50 decrease in the average electricity cost between 2009 and 2010. 6 out of 10 New Englanders also supported the market creating regulations to address global warming, as opposed to government mandates. One option could be a new focus on renewable energy resources, since 83 of those polled also supported wind energy. All of these findings support statements by the Environmental Defense Fund and the COMPETE energy coalition, which show that competitive markets create the perfect environment for clean energy.