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    With the end of electricity rate caps in Pennsylvania, many residents and businesses have quickly become more conscious of the energy they use and how much they are paying for their electricity bills. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that an important part of this process has been the efficiency improvements spurred by the state's recent energy efficiency bill.

    A recent report from the Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future found that the state has seen millions of dollars in savings from the 2008 Energy Savings Law. The law requires utility companies to reduce peak electricity demand and overall electricity demand by a fixed target within the next two years.

    Already the state has seen a drop in electricity demand of 2,073 gigawatt-hours, roughly 41 percent more than the amount required by law. This has led to savings of $278 million by residents and businesses across the state, but in a competitive marketplace such as the one Pennsylvania now boasts this drop in demand could have its greatest impact on future electricity rates.

    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania saw its average electricity rates rise more than 43 percent from 6.71 cents per kilowatt-hour in 1999 to 9.6 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009. In that same time, electricity generation rose nearly 13 percent from 194.5 terawatt-hours to 219.5 terawatt-hours.