Citizen Power is the outgrowth of 20 years of work to protect the consumer and the environment through public policy, research, education and advocacy.   Since 1996, most of Citizen Power’s resources had been dedicated to ensuring that low-income consumers and environmental interests were represented in the operation and regulation (and/or deregulation) of the electric generation industry. Our energy advocacy work has had some notable achievements:

  • saved Penelec and MetEd customers hundreds of millions of dollars by winning Commonwealth Court reversal of a PUC approved rate increase.
  • created a $4 million fund designed to promote the increased use of renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies in western Pennsylvania.
  • helped to create the $12 million West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund that provides low interest loans for investments in renewable energy and energy-efficiency technology projects and businesses.
  • helped to secure an additional $20 million to extend and expand utility companies’ conservation programs, providing usage reduction services to 15,000 low-income customers.
  • helped to secure $3.5 million in additional funding to provide bill payment assistance to low-income customers.
  • served 650 low-income households in the West Penn Power service territory by providing $750,000 in free electricity reduction services such as in-home energy audits, energy efficiency and conservation measures, and energy use education.
  • helped to establish a $6 million Duquesne Light Company Sustainable Development Fund for renewable energy products that meet Tier 1 requirements of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act and/or to fund energy-efficiency and energy education projects.
  • participated in the drafting of the first renewable portfolio standards legislation (RPS) in Ohio.
  • drafted the first RPS legislation (Senate Bill 962) introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in November 2003 by Senator Ferlo. In November 2004 Pennsylvania enacted Act 213, the “Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard”. Click here to read a critical analysis of Act 213.
  • successfully petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to require that the FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company perform supplemental examinations of the containment liner at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station as a condition for re-licensing.

In 2008, we began our outreach to schools through the Energy Education Project. We have accomplished much and have had quite an impact:

  • conducted 90 Teacher Training Workshops reaching over 1,770 educators in Pennsylvania. Each teacher has an average outreach to 70 students per year, and based on the post-workshop evaluations, 99.99% said they would be able to use the materials to reach altogether nearly 124,000 students per year.
  • gifted over $250,000 worth of resources to teachers to take back to the classrooms for hands-on activities with their students.
  • provided our Mini-Energy Audit Toolbags to over 265 teachers and staff for over 4,480 students to conduct energy audits of their schools.
  • provided over $115,000 in Green Grants for projects pertaining to energy conservation, energy efficiency, or renewable energy technologies.
  • gained Pennsylvania Department of Education Approved Provider Status in order to provide continuing education credits to teachers.

In 2011, we succeeded in bringing an affordable renewable electricity option to the region. Our direct energy services work has helped to fill a void and seen encouraging participation:

  • partnered with an electricity supplier to bring to the region a 100% PA Wind Electricity Plan with a fixed price at very affordable rates when no other provider had this option for consumers.
  • signed up over 1,200 members, both residential and commercial, to join our Green Energy Collaborative in order to access our special pricing on renewable electricity.
  • opened up another renewable energy option with 100% National Wind RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) in order to make supporting renewable energy more affordable for consumers.

In recent years we have also supported efforts to bring about real reform of the US healthcare system. Our health care advocacy work has proven beneficial to citizens in many ways:

  • released a major study of the health insurance changes that are coming to Pennsylvania.
  • discovered an issue with the price of the policies offered into Pennsylvania’s Health Care Marketplace that cost western PA residents millions of dollars. We worked to bring attention to this issue and find solutions.
  • certified as an Affordable Care Act (ACA) application counselor for the initial 2014 application year.
  • helped to secure funds for a part-time free medical clinic for the residents of Braddock after the closing of UPMC Braddock Hospital.