Monday, March 13, 2017

Act 129 Energy Efficiency Law Fueling PA’s Energy Economy: 62,000+ Jobs And Counting

A recent U.S. Department of Energy report shows a significant increase in energy jobs in Pennsylvania spurred by Act 129, the state’s energy efficiency policy. According to the DOE report, Pennsylvania is home to 62,431 people employed in energy efficiency.
Act 129 helped all Pennsylvanians save money, from residential customers to large manufacturers.  Since the program was enacted in 2008, electric customers have enjoyed a combined total of $4.2 billion in benefits.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Julian Boggs, Policy Director for the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, a 50-member Pennsylvania trade association.  “Act 129 is an example of smart policy that has created local jobs that can’t be outsourced, while helping businesses and residents save money.”
The benefits of energy efficiency for Pennsylvania’s local economy, including job creation, were on display Monday in Pittsburgh.
The Sheet Metal, Air, Rail & Transportation Workers Local 12 union and the Western PA Chapter of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association hosted legislators and business leaders at a facility that trains workers for jobs in the energy efficiency economy.
The event featured a tour of the SMART Local 12 Training Center, where apprentices engage in hands-on training to learn the skills necessary for jobs in energy efficiency throughout western Pennsylvania. Bob Greiner of Local 12 and SMART kicked off the event with remarks, and stated,
SMACNA President John Raught followed with a statement, “SMACNA sees energy efficiency as a growth industry that has the potential of providing thousands of high paying jobs throughout the Commonwealth.”
Doug Poundstone, Operations Manager at Ductmate Industries added, “Ductmate has always believed that energy-efficiency and sustainability are vital components to successful building design and function. That’s why our products are designed and engineered to provide superior quality and maximum efficiency; to deliver maximum performance for the contractor installing the product, for the building owner using the product, and for the people and places affected by the manufacturing and usage of our products.”
The tour was attended by Senators Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) and Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) as well as representatives from Rep. Frank Dermody’s (D-Allegheny) office.
Attendees learned firsthand how strong energy efficiency policy has spurred local job creation and job training across Pennsylvania in every county, while helping Pennsylvania businesses save money.
McKamish Commercial Construction, the firm responsible for the PNC Tower, one of the most energy-efficient LEED certified buildings in North America explained how the buildings design and products used help save PNC on energy costs.
In addition to job creation and energy savings for Pennsylvania customers, Act 129 has helped global companies with a base of operations and manufacturing in the state to keep their costs low and bottom line growing.
"Policies like Act 129 keep energy costs low and more predictable over the long-term,” said Tim Lacey, Global Business Director for Dow Building & Construction. “By eliminating energy waste, we reduce Pennsylvania’s need to generate additional power from more expensive alternatives. Lower energy costs allow us to continue to invest throughout the U.S. supporting more local jobs.  Let’s keep investing in what works.”
“Energy efficiency is powering Pennsylvania’s economy! The Public Utility Commission’s reports show that Act 129 energy efficiency programs are creating jobs and saving customers and businesses money,” said Larry Myers, an engineer with Schneider Electric. “Our state needs to keep investing in successful policies like Act 129 to ensure Pennsylvania remains a leader in competitive, global manufacturing.”
A copy of the DOE report is available online.  Visit the Public Utility Commission’s Act 129 webpage for more information.  Click Here for a copy of the most recent utility company reports on their Act 129 accomplishments.

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