July 8, 2015, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PaPUC) approved updates to the Technical Reference Manual (TRM), aimed at making the TRM a more effective and professional tool for validating energy savings and providing support for Act 129 of 2008 goals. The TRM is used to assess energy savings attributable to energy efficiency and demand response measures for the implementation of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (AEPS Act) and the energy efficiency and conservation provisions of Act 129.
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the proposed changes, which were released for comment on March 26, 2015. Initially established in March 2005, the TRM is updated periodically in order to keep pace and remain relevant and useful as experience and technology related to energy efficiency increases.
The improvements to the TRM are based on more recent research, a review of TRMs from other states and the needs and experiences of the electric distribution companies (EDCs). The updates focus on improving assumptions for key parameters, algorithms and deemed savings values, as well as accounting for new codes and standards for residential, and commercial and industrial energy efficiency and conservation measures.
The AEPS Act specifically required the PaPUC to develop standards for tracking and verifying savings from energy efficiency, load management and demand-side management measures. Generally, AEPS requires that a certain percentage of all electric energy sold to retail customers be derived from alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, biomass and demand-side management resources. The law applies to both EDCs and electric generation suppliers, which must demonstrate their compliance on an annual basis.
Act 129 expanded the PaPUC’s oversight responsibilities and imposed new energy efficiency and conservation requirements on EDCs with at least 100,000 customers, with the overall goal of reducing energy consumption and/or demand.
For more information, contact Jeffrey A. Franklin (JFranklin@PrinceLaw.com).