Munis Proffer Efficiency Plans to CEC

By Published On: June 16, 2007

Municipal utilities intend to use energy efficiency to save hundreds of gigawatt-hours of electricity in the next decade?with Los Angeles Department of Water & Power apparently the most ambitious. By next year, the Southern California utility aims to save over three times its projected energy efficiency from this year. The plans were revealed June 13 during a California Energy Commission workshop. Representatives of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, City of Palo Alto, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District all took turns outlining their utilities? targets as required by the 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report. The Energy Commission set a goal of a 10 percent reduction by 2017, or an average savings of 130 GWh annually. LADWP budget director Jeff Peltola said his utility?s overall strategy is to focus on rebate programs in areas that are the most cost-effective. The muni is targeting rebates to encourage customers to install energy efficient equipment and technology; focusing advertising funds on program awareness; and providing incentive programs to large customers to mitigate financial impacts from loss of the long-term discount contracts. Through its efforts, LADWP expects to save 275 GWh during the 2007-08 fiscal year, up significantly from the 80 GWh projected for the current 2006-07 fiscal year. The utility then projects that GWh savings would steadily increase each year before peaking at about 325 GWh in 2010, before declining annually to 50 GWh in 2017. SMUD hopes to reduce consumption by 1.5 percent each year over the next 10 years, an average annual savings of 194 GWh. Its energy efficiency plan focuses on reducing peak demand and greenhouse gases that reduce climate change, and improving efficiency programs, SMUD?s Bruce Ceniceros said. The Palo Alto utility expects to save 25,000 MWh per year during the 2007-08 fiscal year, with that amount gradually increasing to 23,000 MWh by 2012 and leveling off through 2017. Its energy reduction plan includes: re-optimizing existing programs to maximize cost-effectiveness; revamping its commercial program to better reflect new technologies and costs; establishing new construction and remodeling incentives; and pursuing third-party and joint agency efficiency programs. This workshop was part of the 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report proceeding to meet the requirements of AB 2021, which mandates that by November 1, the CEC?in consultation with the California Public Utilities Commission and local publicly-owned electric utilities?develop a statewide estimate of achievable cost-effective electricity and natural gas efficiency savings and to establish 10-year targets for statewide annual energy efficiency savings and demand reduction. The legislation also requires each publicly-owned utility to, by August 1, identify and report to the Energy Commission cost-effective electricity efficiency savings and establish annual targets for energy efficiency savings and demand reduction for the next decade. The Energy Commission is required by AB 2021 to include a summary of the information reported by each muni in the Integrated Energy Policy Report. This is the second of four workshops regarding the implementation of AB 2021. Two workshops are scheduled for August to discuss the Energy Commission?s findings and proposed recommendations.

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