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CPUC Touts Energy Efficiency Success

September 13, 2012 By Paul Nastu

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) says that energy efficiency programs approved by the CPUC resulted in savings of 5,900 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2010-2011 based on utility reported savings estimates.

In its 2010-2011 Energy Efficiency Annual Progress Evaluation Report the CPUC summarizes investor-owned utility implementation thus far of the CPUC’s $3.1 billion 2010-2012 energy efficiency program. The report details progress toward meeting multiple statewide energy and climate policy objectives including the Energy Action Plan, Assembly Bill 32, and the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.

As outlined in the report, 89 percent of estimated energy savings reported through 2011 occurred in the commercial (55 percent) and residential (34 percent) sectors, with the agricultural and industrial sectors combined making up the remaining 12 percent of electric savings.  Through 2011, the majority of estimated electric savings was achieved through lighting (59 percent), followed by process improvements (13 percent), and HVAC (10 percent). Natural gas savings were primarily achieved in the industrial sector, where 47 percent of the estimated savings were generated through process improvements.

The report discusses 11 program areas, which are designed to overcome barriers to investing in energy efficiency in a wide range of customer segments and promote a range of specialized technologies and services. Highlights include:

  • Residential energy savings continue to be driven by long-running programs that include lighting, followed by appliances;
  • Programs in the industrial and agricultural sectors continue to deliver significant energy savings to California;
  • The upstream HVAC equipment incentive program, where distributors are incentivized to promote energy efficient products, has been achieving savings goals and is cost effective;
  • The 2010-2012 statewide Codes and Standards Program budget is less than 1 percent of the total portfolio of energy efficiency programs ($30 million), but is projected to account for about 22 percent of the total electricity savings and 25 percent of the natural gas savings;
  • More than 40 cities, counties, and regional governments are working with the state’s utilities  as partners to deliver energy efficiency programs and services in their areas;
  • In lighting, there are clear trends of falling shipments of basic lamps in utility programs, and increasing trends for advanced lamps since 2008; and,
  • On Bill Financing’s $41.5 million loan pool quickly became oversubscribed in Southern California Edison’s service area.


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