Young bill to keep energy efficiency plans moving clears House

HARRISBURG, April 9 – PA House lawmakers today passed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware, that would make sure energy efficiency plans in the state are not being denied or delayed due to the use of mechanical insulation in them. 

Act 129 of 2008 requires electric distribution companies to complete an energy efficiency and conservation plan for their distribution areas every five years. Plans must be approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to ensure they are cost-effective and reduce energy consumption.

Specifically, Young’s bill (H.B. 491) would clarify that the PUC cannot deny a required energy efficiency program application solely because it contains mechanical insulation in its plan. She said the bill is necessary because the insulation material has reportedly been used to reject or delay applications, and that some people have questioned the effectiveness and economic viability of its use.

“Mechanical insulation is used to insulate equipment, machines and industrial processes, as opposed to building envelope insulation used in walls and roofs of homes and buildings,” Young said. “It protects workers from burns, reduces noise pollution and is essential for energy conservation in heating and cooling pipes. It is safe and industry standard.

“The intent of my bill is to clarify that mechanical insulation is appropriate material so that electric distribution companies can continue their work toward energy efficiency without delay while using the best materials available.”

Young’s bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.