State, Federal and Local Policy

Energy policy extends beyond the U.S. Department of Energy. State, Federal, and local legislation can impact people's daily lives with regards to energy. One of the most influential laws for those in the SEDA-COG region is Pennsylvania Act 129,  an energy conservation mandate that requires utility companies to achieve specific percentages of energy reduction among their clients each year. However, there are a host of other pieces of legislation important to consider when beginning to think about energy conservation and renewable energy projects.

On this page, you can find out more about legislation at both the state and federal levels. 

Commonwealth Policy

PA PUC's Act 129 and Deregulation Summary

The PA Public Utility Commission summarized the effects that Act 129 and the impending electricity deregulation will have on Pennsylvania's consumers. Read more about specific electric utility programs on our Act 129 page.


Pennsylvania - Net Metering

In Pennsylvania, investor-owned utilities must offer net metering to residential customers that generate electricity with systems up to 50 kilowatts (kW) in capacity; nonresidential customers with systems up to three megawatts (MW) in capacity; and customers with systems greater than 3 MW but no more than 5 MW who make their systems available to the grid during emergencies.


Public Benefits Program

Establishment of five Sustainable Energy Funds, that provides funding for energy-related education and activity throughout PA. Specific information on which funds can be accessed in your area are available through the Financial Assistance tab.


Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) requires each electric distribution company (EDC) and electric generation supplier (EGS) in Pennsylvania to supply 18% of its electricity using alternative-energy resources by 2020. This standard mandates a certain percentage of electricity be generated by photovoltaics (PV). Pennsylvania's AEPS also includes demand-side management, waste coal, coal-mine methane and coal gasification as eligible technologies.


Pennsylvania Building Energy Codes

This site outlines both residential and commercial building codes in PA.


Energy Management and Conservation in State Facilities

This PA Executive Order created a number of energy efficiency related requirements for state facilities.


PA Energy Independence Strategy

This presentation, developed by PA DEP Deputy Secretary for Energy and Technology Dan Griffiths, outlines the recent Energy Independence Strategy passed by PA state government. This includes program details of the highly awaited $650 million in renewable and efficient energy project funding, to be privately financed through the issuance of public funds in early 2009.


PA Energy Independence Strategy (Legislation)

This is the legislation behind Governor Rendell's 2007 Energy Independence Strategy (EIS). The title of the bill, its name and list of sponsors is on page one of the linked document. Pages 2 through 32 are "old language" that is struck out. Pages 33 through 63 contain the new law.

Federal Policy

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Renewable Energy Provisions

This document, issued by the American Center of Renewable Energy (ACORE) outlines the $41 billion dollar portion of an almost $800 billion dollar nationwide economic stimulus bill which is allocated towards renewable energy development.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Pennsylvania Programs

Pennsylvania has compiled all relevant programs resulting from the ARRA for its region. These can be browsed as well as information concerning the use of these funds and eligibility requirements for the grants.


Federal Appliance Standards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is required to set appliance efficiency standards at levels that achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. This describes current appliance standards.


Interconnection Standards for Small Generators

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted "small generator" interconnection standards for distributed energy resources up to 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity in May 2005. The FERC's standards apply only to facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the commission; mostly, these are systems that interconnect at the transmission level. The standards generally do not apply to distribution-level interconnection, which is regulated by state public utilities commissions. However, the FERC has noted that its interconnection standards for small generators should serve as a useful model for state-level standards.


Federal Energy Management Program

The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended and expanded several previous goals and standards to reduce energy use in existing and new federal buildings. This describes renewable energy use mandated for federal buildings.


The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

The Energy Independence and Security Act is an omnibus energy policy law that consists mainly of provisions designed to increase energy efficiency and the availability of renewable energy. This report describes the key provisions of the enacted law, summarizes the legislative action on H.R. 6, and provides a summary of the provisions under each of the titles in the law.

The most noteworthy elements of the Energy Independence and Security Act include the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), and the Energy Efficiency Equipment Standards. The CAFÉ law set a goal of 35 miles per gallon for the combined fleet of corporate vehicles by model year 2020 in order to reduce gas consumption and lower emissions. The Renewable Fuels Standard modified the old standard so that by 2008 9.0 billon gallons for renewable fuels are being used, and 36 billion gallons are being used by 2022. Lastly, the Energy Efficiency Equipment Standards creates new standards for lighting and appliance equipment for residential and commercial uses.