A merger between energy and water efficiency programs depends upon the outcome of a California Public Utilities Commission rulemaking initiated Dec. 18. \tUnder the rulemaking, regulators envision joint programs that save both water and energy between the state\u2019s investor-owned energy utilities and both private and public water utilities. \tCalifornia Energy Commission data show water use consumes about 20 percent of the state\u2019s electricity. \tThe goal of the proceeding, said commissioner Mark Ferron, is \u201cto create a framework to make more holistic choices.\u201d He noted that moving, treating, and heating water is the single largest use of electricity in California. \tCommissioner Mike Florio said the rulemaking could result in savings for Californians\u2014both on electricity and water bills. \tThe commission plans to explore energy-water efficiency measures that don\u2019t conflict with existing state energy efficiency programs. It also plans to develop ways to measure the energy savings inherent in saving water. \tThe goal of the rulemaking, according to the CPUC, is to develop \u201cwater-energy programs that can be seamlessly integrated with the existing methods and process for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation programs.\u201d \tThe rulemaking comes after years of efforts to develop joint energy-water saving programs under the commission\u2019s water action plan initiated in 2005. The plan has yielded some results and established a \u201cground work,\u201d according to the commission, which regulators now hope to build upon. \tFerron said the rulemaking should foster greater cooperation between the energy and water industries and create \u201ca broader view\u201d of the relationship between the two resources.