California adopts long term energy efficiency plan


Michael R. Peevey,
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 22, 2008 – A long term energy efficiency plan aimed at achieving maximum energy savings across all major groups and sectors in California up to 2020 and beyond has been adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The plan is the state’s first integrated framework of goals and strategies for saving energy, covering government, utility, and private sector actions, and holds energy efficiency to its role as the highest priority resource in meeting California’s energy needs.

The plan targets four end use market sectors – residential, commercial, industrial and agriculture – with key cross”cutting sectors critical to implementation including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and demand side management (DSM) coordination and integration. Others key sectors are workforce education and training, marketing, education and outreach, research and technology, codes and standards, and local governments.

Key to the plan’s success is four specific programmatic goals – named “Big, bold energy efficiency strategies” – which were selected not only for their potential impact, but also for their easy comprehension and their ability to galvanize market players. These are:

  • All new residential construction in California to be zero net energy by 2020
  • All new commercial construction in California to be zero net energy by 2030
  • The HVAC industry and market to be transformed to ensure that its energy performance is optimal for California’s climate
  • All eligible low income customers to be given the opportunity to participate in low income energy efficiency programs by 2020.

“The Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan will guide our efforts to make energy efficiency a way of life for all sectors in California – from the industrial and agricultural sectors, to our large and small businesses, and in the average household,” says CPUC president Michael R. Peevey.

The plan’s vision for DSM is that energy efficiency, energy conservation, demand response, advanced metering, and distributed generation technologies be offered as elements of an integrated solution that supports energy and carbon reduction goals immediately, and eventually water and other resource conservation goals in the future.

Technology is a fundamental element in achieving the vision and strategies and a major effort is needed to develop new technologies and systems that enable multiple DSM options and provide synergy across DSM program types. The already approved installation of AMI throughout the investor owned utility (IOU) service areas and a soon to be initiated smart grid proceeding are also expected to spur development of new, integrated DSM technologies.

Pilot programs and a coordinated marketing effort to promote DSM in conjunction with smart meter deployment are other important elements in achieving DSM integration.

The plan was developed by California’s IOUs in conjunction with individuals and organizations over a period of 11 months, and will be regularly updated.