(Harrisburg) -- The state's Public Utility Commission has given the green light to energy efficiency plans submitted by Pennsylvania's major electric utilities. The energy efficiency initiatives are voluntary programs the utilities’ consumers will be given a chance to take part in and include efforts like rebates on older energy wasting appliances, discounted compact florescent lights and energy performance audits. Over the past two weeks, the PUC reviewed and approved the plans submitted by seven Pennsylvania utilities. The efforts are required under Act 129, a law passed last year directing the utilities to gradually reduce their energy output over the coming years. PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says, "It’s being timed, somewhat, with the rate cap expiration for about 85 percent of the state’s electric customers, coming up over the next couple of months and year. So with that, these are providing ways to reduce their own bill, but do it in a way that’s a bit cheaper." Electric bills across the state are expected to climb when rate caps start expiring in January. Participating utilities include PPL, Peco, Metropolitican Edison and Duquesne Light.
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