Watt Choices: FAQ
style image ignore
Duquesne Light
style image ignore
style image ignore

WATT CHOICES for my...
Business Rebates
Express Efficiency Small Commercial & Industrial Customers (<300 billing demand)
(Includes small: office, beauty parlor, convenience stores, restaurants)
Multifamily Housing Retrofit Program
Small Commercial Direct Install
Non-residential Upstream Lighting - Instant Rebate on Screw In LED bulbs for Non-Residential Customers
Commercial Efficiency (>300 billing demand)
(Including large: offices, retail stores, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels)
Industrial Efficiency (>300 billing demand)
(Including large: metals, chemicals, food processing, rubber, plastics, other industrial)
Public Agency Partnership Programs (Including Local Government and Municipalities, Healthcare, Nonprofit including Churches, Education Sectors)
Community Education Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) The Community Education Efficiency Program for Duquesne Light will prepare middle and high school students to become energy efficiency auditors.
Demand Management
WATT other things may interest me?
  • Act 129
  • Act 129 FAQ
  • Act 129 Reports
  • Meter Exchange Program
  • style image ignore
    Frequently Asked Questions >
    Question & Answer...

    Act 129

    Where can I find a copy of Duquesne Light's Energy Efficiency plan to comply with Act 129?

    Phase III
    [ + Phase II + ]

    [ + Phase I + ]

    Were customers involved in the process of developing Duquesne Light's plan?
    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.

    What will Act 129 do?
    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.

    What are the benefits of this program?
    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.

    What happens if customers do not participate?
    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.

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

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

    What will be the average increase to my bill?
    It is expected that the average residential customer will see a charge of $1.38 per month due to these new programs.

    How will program costs be recovered?
    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.

    Am I eligible for these programs if I have a supplier?

    What does TRC stand for?
    Total Resource Cost Test

    What is the TRC 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.

    What is a CSP or Conservation Service Provider?
    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.

    How can I become a CSP?
    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 http://www.puc.state.pa.us/electric/electric_CSP_registry.aspx

    What other states have state-mandated energy efficiency programs, in addition to Pennsylvania?
    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.

    Are there other parts of Act 129?
    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.

    How will Duquesne Light's Act 129 program be measured?
    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).

    Who is the state-wide independent evaluator?
    GDS Associates Inc. Engineers and Consultants was selected by the PUC as the Act 129 Evaluator.

    How were the measures eligible for rebates determined?
    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.

    Is it likely other measures will be added?
    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.

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

    Renewable Resources

    Where can I find more information on renewable resources?
    Review the Customer Generation information on our website.

    Smart Meters

    What is smart metering?
    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.

    Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)

    How do I recycle my CFL light bulb?
    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.

    Additional Questions

    If you didn't find your question in this list, send it to wattchoices@duqlight.com