Public Utilities Boosting Efficiency Savings in California
California's publicly owned utilities (POUs) play a critical role in helping their customers save electricity and lower their energy bills.
By Christa Heavey
Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog
California's publicly owned utilities (POUs), which serve about one-fourth of the state's electricity demand, play a critical role in helping their customers save electricity and lower their energy bills. A new NRDC analysis shows California's POUs collectively saved enough energy last year to equal almost 1 percent of their total sales - a common benchmark for evaluating energy efficiency programs - making 2014 the second highest year on record.
These energy savings will reduce POU customers' energy bills by over $300 million due to last year's efficiency programs alone. Since 2006, the POU efficiency programs like weatherization and rebates for highly efficient appliances have collectively saved enough electricity to power more than 600,000 California homes for one year, avoided the annual carbon pollution equal to the emissions from more than 400,000 cars, while also saving customers an impressive $1.9 billion on their electricity bills.
This is more good news for California, which has reaped significant benefits from energy efficiency over the last 40 years, as NRDC's recent report shows. (Review and download the report below.) By saving energy, Californians have lowered their energy bills, reduced the need to build new power plants, and helped improve air quality by slashing pollution. Much of this success is driven by customer participation in efficiency programs offered by both public and private utilities throughout the state (three-fourths of California's utility customers are served by three private utilities: Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric).
Read full coverage here.
Read California's Golden Energy Efficiency Opportunity report from the NRDC: