What energy efficiency gains investor-owned utilities can count towards their savings goal is significantly broadened under a California Public Utilities Commission proposal. The July 1 draft decision by CPUC administrative law judge David Gamson allows the state\u2019s private utilities to take credit for energy savings resulting from state green building standards, state lighting efficiency law under AB 1109, and federal appliance efficiency rules. Switching from allowing utilities to count only energy use reductions they are directly responsible for to counting energy savings that occur across the economy, known as gross savings, would apply to both the utilities 2009-2011 efficiency plans as well as the 2012- 2020 timeframe. If adopted, the CPUC is set to send the new efficiency definition and savings goal to the California Air Resources Board, recommending it adopt them to help meet the state climate protection mandate. CARB set a state wide energy reduction target of 32,000 GWh. Gamson\u2019s proposal estimates the expanded definition of efficiency gains--which Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric can use to reap bonuses--will achieve 4,500 negawatts by 2020, or a reduction of 28,000 GWh. It is also estimated to save 620 million therms of gas between 2012 and 2020. However, the draft plan directs staff to analyze the impact of lowering the current $450 million cap on the savings bonus given to utilities for reaching energy savings goals, as well as possibly ratcheting down the 9-12 percent earnings rate.