Ensuring consumers reap significant energy savings from efficiency investments is more critical since $2.5 billion-plus over the next five years is being added to the state\u2019s conservation efforts, said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), chair of the Senate Energy Utilities & Communications Committee, at a Jan. 28 hearing. \u201cAre savings appropriately captured?\u201d in ongoing energy efficiency programs, he asked. Proposition 39 allocates those funds at $550 million\/year for school efficiency and retrofits. There\u2019s also revenue expected from the state\u2019s cap-and-trade auctions. Padilla said it was crucial that the monies be used to avoid the need for new power plants, to lower peak energy demand, and to lessen utility bills--while maintaining grid reliability. Savings from investor-owned utilities\u2019 energy efficiency investments have dropped significantly the last few years. For every dollar invested, there was an average $2.67 in savings in 2005. The ratio is down to $1.36 in savings for every dollar invested, according to Tiffany Roberts, Legislative Analyst Office\u2019s senior fiscal policy analyst. Agency representatives agreed with the findings. Some of the decrease was attributed to lower savings estimates by the California Public Utilities Commission for compact fluorescent light bulb programs. In a report issued at the end of 2012, the Legislative Office found the state lacks a comprehensive framework that ensures state programs are meeting their full cost-effective potentials. Padilla told representatives of the entities responsible for measuring savings from state efficiency programs to meld their analyses and discontinue estimate disparities. \u201cI\u2019m not sure you want to apply the same cost-effectiveness test for investor-owned utility efficiency programs as for programs under Prop. 39. They have different societal goals,\u201d said Ed Randolph, California Public Utilities Commission energy division director. \u201cIt\u2019s not the job of the electricity system to provide jobs,\u201d said Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood). Prop. 39 seeks to save energy at schools, lower carbon emissions, cut utility bills, create jobs, and send the monetary savings back to struggling schools. There\u2019s a difference of 5,500 (n)MW of estimated savings over 10 years between the California Energy Commission forecast and the California Independent System Operator. There\u2019s also a 2,500 (n)MW difference between the Energy Commission\u2019s assessment of how much savings future building efficiency standards and other programs will reap--which is 5,500(n)MW-- and the California Public Utilities Commission\u2019s estimate of 3,000 (n)MW for these \u201cuncommitted programs.\u201d \u201cIf the lights aren\u2019t working, nothing else matters,\u201d Keith Casey, CAISO vice president, market and infrastructure, responded. The grid operator estimates no savings from upcoming efficiency programs. The accuracy of the energy forecasts are particularly important for Southern California, where the 2,200 MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is shut down. \u201cHow much of these uncommitted resources will actually show up in the L.A. Basin?\u201d Casey asked. Deference is given to the state\u2019s \u201cloading order\u201d for energy supplies. That rule gives priority to energy efficiency and demand-response, said Bob Weisemiller, Energy Commission chair. Energy forecasting, he added, \u201cis one of most complicated areas in terms of doing it right.\u201d That\u2019s partly because of the proliferation of electronic gadgets, from cell phone chargers to laptops in homes. Since 1976, the Energy Commission has released annual energy supply and demand forecasts, including the need for new power plants. The current effort is via its Integrated Energy Policy Report, which is used by the CPUC and the grid operator. The Energy Commission recently received input on the state of the California economy as part of its update of the report. It\u2019s expected to be approved Feb. 13.