PA PUC Removes Hold On Renewable Energy Credit Applications for Non-PUC Electricity Users

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recently removed a hold placed on credit applications for renewable energy sources controlled by rural electricity co-op users. The power generated by these co-ops is not regulated by the PUC. The Allegheny Front's Dennis Funk has the latest.

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FUNK: Some rural energy users can now invest in renewable energy systems and apply to get credits for their systems. Users, whose electricity isn't regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, can sell their credits to public utilities. The sales help renewable system owners recoup their investment, and also let public utilities earn credits toward their renewable energy requirements.

The PUC stopped renewable energy credit applications this past spring. That's because the commission wasn't sure it could legally provide credits to some energy consumers.

Ed Johnstonbaugh is a renewable energy educator at Penn State Extension. He says suspending applications for non-PUC regulated renewables wasn't the right decision for rural consumers.

JOHNSTONBAUGH: Many of them, when they installed systems, did so under the rules that existed that said they could participate. So then, when you put them on hold, that kind of changed the rule mid game with them, which was unfair.

FUNK: Johnstonbaugh says that credit system legislation was meant to promote renewable energy systems in Pennsylvania,and not allowing rural energy users to participate would only slow down potential growth.

For the Allegheny Front, I'm Dennis Funk.