Harrisburg, Pennsylvania [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) announced that it and 11 other parties had reached a settlement with Philadelphia-based PECO Energy to cut the costs of electricity to residential, small business and commercial customers; maintain current prices for the delivery of electricity for four more years; and substantially expand assistance to low income customers.The settlement also will improve reliability of electricity to customers; increase economic development programs; adopt rules that will allow customers with solar panels or other personal power to sell excess electricity back to the company; and boost funding for renewable energy development and conservation programs. “This agreement is an out-of-the-park, bases-loaded home run for Pennsylvania’s environment and economy,” said John Hanger, President and CEO of PennFuture, and former member of the PUC. “We gained funding for clean, renewable energy, and energy conservation. The agreement puts consumer protections in place for the Pennsylvania customers affected by this merger. It will save lives by increasing assistance to low-income customers by $20 million. And most of all, it will cut electricity rates by a whopping $120 million to homes and small and large businesses. Renewable energy and energy conservation will also get a $19.2 million boost from the settlement, with PECO Energy paying $12 million to the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority “for the purposes of funding renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation,” and $7.2 million to the Sustainable Development Fund. When combined with Pennsylvania’s landmark Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard law, the Energy Harvest program, the sustainable development funds, and Pennsylvania’s vibrant voluntary green energy market, the $19.2 million of renewable energy and conservation benefits from the settlement mean Pennsylvania can build thousands of megawatts of new wind, solar, biomass, methane and energy conservation projects.