Drawing upon myriad data sources, Allegheny students determined that:
- Meadville's annual energy bill approaches $30 million.
- Local per capita income is just below $11,000.
- Per capita energy expense is approximately $2,000 per year.
- Energy costs consequently account for nearly 20% of the personal income.
Cutting energy expenditures in Meadville by only 10% could save the community $3 million annually, which would fuel $6 to $9 million annually in increased growth in the local economy.
MCEP was then founded with a mission to reduce Meadville's energy consumption, in order to stimulate the local economy, improve social equity, and benefit the environment. MCEP's directors are Kathleen Greely (who served as an energy analyst at both the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) and Michael Maniates (Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Science at Allegheny College, and a former employee of the San Francisco office of Energy Planning).