New York, NY, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 28, 2007 – Southern California Edison, a utility committed to energy efficiency, joined seven other utilities and former President Bill Clinton yesterday in announcing its commitment to investing in energy efficiency and seeking regulatory actions to increase that investment by $500 million annually from 2010 to 2016.
The commitment, which was announced today at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, would raise the companies’ total investments in energy efficiency by $500 million annually to about $1.5 billion annually and would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 30 million tons by 2016, the equivalent to removing 6 million cars from the road. It also will avoid the need for 50, 500-megawatt peaking power plants.
The eight utilities, which represent nearly 20 million customers in 22 states, also committed to the creation of a national institute for electric efficiency to develop regulatory models and convene supporting conferences in the power sector. This institute would be formed within the Edison Electric Institute, which represents the nation’s investor-owned electric utilities. The new institute is open to interested parties, both domestic and international, who share its commitment to energy efficiency.
California has been a leader in energy efficiency since the early 1980s. Just last week, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted a policy to further strengthen the state’s leadership promoting customer energy efficiency programs. The new program provides incentives to ensure that utility investors and managers view energy efficiency as a core part of the utility’s regulated operations that can generate meaningful earnings for its shareholders. At the same time the new framework protects consumers’ financial investment; ensures that program savings are real and verified; and imposes penalties for substandard performance.
"With the right regulatory support, energy efficiency programs can be a highly effective way to meet growing energy needs while achieving important environmental goals," said John E. Bryson, chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison. "We are fortunate to have that kind of regulatory support here in California."
During the past five years, SCE’s energy efficiency programs have led the nation and saved more than 4 billion kilowatt-hours, enough energy to power 500,000 homes for an entire year. The programs have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2 million tons, the equivalent of removing 400,000 cars from the road. During the next two years, SCE will help customers save an additional 2 billion kilowatt-hours, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by another 1 million tons.
SCE has been recognized six times by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the ENERGY STAR Award for the effectiveness of its energy efficiency programs. The utility also was honored on September 19 by the EPA with an award for its appliance recycling energy efficiency program, the only utility in an international field of honorees celebrating the best environmental protection programs during the last 20 years.
SCE has several programs for homes. The utility has a refrigerator recycling program, which recently reached a milestone: 600,000 refrigerators and freezers have been recycled. SCE also has rebate programs for customers who buy energy efficient appliances. The company also offers services for low-income customers unable to make the initial investment in energy saving measures, including lighting and energy efficient appliances.
There are also programs available to businesses of all sizes. Among them are rebates for installing energy efficient lighting, select air conditioners and certain kinds of electric cooking equipment.