Â“Energy efficiency is the lowest cost and the cleanest way to address future energy needs,Â” said Dennis Wraase, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pepco Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Atlantic City Electric.
In the comprehensive plan Â– Blueprint for the Future Â– filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), Atlantic City Electric proposes new technologies that will lead the way toward reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the state by giving utility customers the tools to reduce their energy use.
Â“If we can provide tools for our customers - from the New Jersey shore to our nationÂ’s capital - to reduce their electricity use, we can make a measurable contribution to meeting the nationÂ’s environmental challenges and at the same time help customers keep their electric bills affordable,Â” Wraase added.
The proposals include installing Â“smart metersÂ” to improve reliability and, ultimately, give customers options for lowering their energy usage and cost. The smart meters, which the company proposes to install in the homes of all its southern New Jersey customers over the next four to five years, would give Atlantic City Electric the ability to remotely identify the location of outages, resulting in quicker restoration.
Smart meters also can give customers price and usage information and options for managing their electricity demand when prices are high.
For example, one proposal is for customers to receive financial incentives on their bills for allowing Atlantic City Electric to Â“cycle,Â” or intermittently turn off, their central air conditioning or heat pumps when wholesale electricity prices are high.
Â“Our proposal certainly complements the State of New JerseyÂ’s efforts already underway with the Clean Energy Program, which offers rebates or other incentives for residents and businesses to update inefficient appliances with Energy Star replacements,Â” said Atlantic City Electric Regional President Ken Parker.
Â“Moreover, we commend Governor Corzine for his leadership in setting energy goals and launching New JerseyÂ’s Energy Master Plan process, which is providing an opportunity for public discussion on key energy issues, such as reducing energy consumption, increasing renewable energy resources and addressing issues of reliability and the environment,Â” Parker said. Â“As we introduce these proposals and implement our plan, we will be listening to our customers and welcoming feedback from them.Â”
These environmental and conservation initiatives build on actions the company is taking at the corporate-wide level. PHI, Atlantic City ElectricÂ’s parent company, is currently using bio-diesel and ethanol blends to fuel most of its 2,000 vehicle fleet and is testing electric hybrid technology in the District of Columbia, New Jersey and Maryland. PHI plans to continue to evaluate these and other technologies to increase the number of alternative fueled vehicles in its fleet.
Recently, PHI joined the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency Coalition, a broad-based group of utilities, environmental advocacy groups, state utility commissions and others working together on environmental issues.
As part of the filing, Atlantic City Electric proposes ways to fund the programs outlined and offered to work with the BPU to determine the most appropriate mechanisms to permit full and timely recovery of the companyÂ’s investments. The BPU will review the components of Atlantic City ElectricÂ’s proposals and will decide whether these plans will be implemented. PHI has made similar proposals in all other jurisdictions it serves.
Â“While we are aware that New JerseyÂ’s energy issues cannot be solved by any one group, our customers want to know that we are doing everything we can to provide reliable service and help them cope with higher energy prices,Â” Parker said. Â“Through this plan, Atlantic City Electric is offering to help customers save money, clean the environment, and make us more energy independent.Â”