Efficiency is Very Successful in California

by / Thursday, 06 September 2012 / Published in Smartgrid-CI Blog

California’s PUC just published its efficiency progress report for 2010-2012. The result is spectacular.

The $3.1B dollar in ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs spent during the 2010 – 2012 program cycle yielded The 5,900 GWh in electricity savings reported by the IOU. This is enough to power over 600,000 households for a year. Another way to lok at it, the program is estimated to have cut CO2 emissions by 3.8 million tons, the equivalent of removing over 700,000 from California roads.
No doubt, the result of the program described in the CPUC energy efficiency 138 page report is spectacular. 
[The whole report can be downloaded from the bottom of our smart grid resource portal page]


These numbers represent the result reached at the end of 2011only. The program actually targets a total of 8,121 GWh at the end of 2012 according to the report, which is twice as high as the goal set at the start of the program.
The commercial sector accounts for 55% of the total savings and the residential sector for 34%. The agricultural and industrial sectors combined making up the remaining 12% of electric savings. This may indicate that there is still room for improvement in the near future. The analysis by technology shows that the more efficient area is lightning which represents a remarkable 58% of the total. Far behind come HVAC (13%) and Process (10%).  By Geography, Los Angeles leads the pack over the other parts of California with 1,25 GWh saved, almost one quarter of the total.
The CPUC credits the success of this initiative on its on-bill financing program. It worked so well that the same approach will be used for the next triennial plan.
This is a lot of numbers but one that is missing in the report gives us an even better idea of the success of this initiative; its actual cost per person. According to our calculation, there were 37.7 million people living in California in 2011. A total cost of $3.1B represents about $82 per person, over the three years or a meager $27 per year. Another way to look at it is opportunity savings. According to the report the equivalent of 700 megawatts (MW) of electric capacity where offset by this initiative, which is equivalent to 2 major power plants. Even more spectacular isn’t it?
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