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Question & Answer...

Yes, Duquesne Light held an informational webinar in April 2009 and conducted several stakeholder meetings for residential, commercial and industrial customers. Two public input hearings were held at the Allegheny County Courthouse on Aug. 5, 2009. Going forward, stakeholder meetings will be held twice a year. Dates and time will be provided to customers as they become available.

Assist customers in reducing electricity bills, allow customers to make informed choices about their use of electricity, lessen the impact of energy consumption on the environment, and decrease the cost of meeting new demand for electricity.

The benefits are lower electric bills because you are saving energy, environmental benefits through reduced power plan emissions, and not wasting energy on limited resources needed to produce electricity.

The legislation provides for mandatory penalties of between $1 million and $20 million to be levied against an electric distribution company (EDC) that does not succeed in meeting the targeted reductions.

Act 129 calls for all reasonable and prudent program costs to be recovered through a charge on the monthly electric bill.

The surcharge became effective Dec. 1, 2009, and will be reconciled with program costs on an annual basis.

It is expected that the average residential customer will see a charge of $1.38 per month due to these new programs.

Program costs will be recovered through a charge on the monthly bill. Act 129 caps those costs at no more than two percent of Duquesne Light's revenues.

Total Resource Cost Test

A standard test that is met if, over the effective life of each plan (not to exceed 15 years), the net present value of the avoided monetary cost of supplying electricity is greater than the net present value of the monetary cost of energy efficiency conservation measures. The test includes all expenditures on a program measure, both what the customer contributes and what Duquesne Light would contribute. The benefits must be greater than the costs and calculate to a value greater than 1 for a project to pass the TRC test.

A CSP is defined as an entity that provides information and technical assistance on measures to enable a person to increase energy efficiency or reduce energy consumption.

A CSP must be on the PUC registry before it can provide consultation, design, administration, management or advisory services to electric distribution companies. To find more information on registering visit

Pennsylvania joins several other mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states who have programs, including New York, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Yes, subsequent phases will address EDC and default service provider responsibilities, conservation service providers, smart meter technology, time-of-use rates, real-time pricing plans, default service procurement, market misconduct, alternative energy sources, and cost recovery.

The results of the plan will be subject to annual, independent evaluation, and modifications, where appropriate, may be recommended to improve its cost effectiveness or impact. That review will be conducted by a state-wide independent evaluator engaged by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

GDS Associates Inc. Engineers and Consultants was selected by the PUC as the Act 129 Evaluator.

Duquesne Light evaluated measures in terms of energy and peak demand savings, operating life, price, etc. Each measure was evaluated for cost-effectiveness, to be sure benefits exceeded costs. Because the Watt Choices program is designed to serve all Duquesne Light customers-including commercial and industrial-budget considerations influenced the total number of measures that could be offered.

Yes. Duquesne Light plans to conduct an annual review of the rebate program. As additional analysis of costs and savings for particular measures is conducted, as new technologies and measures appear in the marketplace, we may add additional measures to the eligibility list.

While Duquesne Light plans to complete an annual review of existing and prospective measures, rebates may be added during the course of each year.

In addition to measuring the amount of electricity being used in a home, smart meters measure when the energy was consumed, thus enabling utilities to potentially offer additional pricing options based on the time of day. Having this additional usage information and pricing options could help interested customers better manage their energy consumption.

Pennsylvania's Act 129 requires Electric Distribution Companies with at least 100,000 customers to file a smart meter technology procurement and installation plan with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Act 129 also provides a 30-month grace period before installation would begin, allowing utilities to further study smart meter technology, as well as customer interest in the program.

You can recycle your light bulb at the following locations:

  • Allegheny County Health Department, located at the Clack Health Center, Building 5, 3901 Penn Ave. in Lawrenceville (between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday)
  • The Robinson Town Center IKEA
  • The CCI Center, located at 64 South 14th Street, in the South Side of Pittsburgh (free drop-off in lobby)
  • The Home Depot offers free in-store compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb recycling at all of its stores nationwide.

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