A California Energy Commission appliance efficiency rulemaking is expected to establish a 2007 baseline and evaluate expected growth in the state\u2019s lighting demand. It also likely will identify, evaluate, and prioritize other activities, including amendments to California\u2019s building energy efficiency standards and consumer rebates, according to a scoping workshop January 15. The commission may adopt more stringent standards for battery charging systems and other external power supplies and home appliances to achieve greater energy savings and reduce both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the CEC is evaluating the effect of the 2007 federal energy bill\u2019s mandate for new national lighting and appliance efficiency standards on California\u2019s new regulations, which must be consistent with the federal requirements. The energy bill authorizes California to implement the federal standards ahead of schedule. The energy bill also adopted the CEC\u2019s standards for external power supplies as federal appliance standards. Assembly Bill 1109, enacted by the California Legislature last fall, requires the Energy Commission to adopt new efficiency standards by the end of this year to reduce statewide energy usage from general purpose lights. AB 1109, the California Lighting Efficiency and Toxics Reduction Act, mandates that the state achieve a 50 percent reduction in average energy usage from residential lighting and 25 percent for commercial and outdoor lighting below 2007 levels by 2018. The commission plans to issue its proposed appliance efficiency regulations and required California Environmental Quality Act analysis in September. Final regulations are expected to be adopted December 3, said Melinda Merritt of the CEC\u2019s appliance efficiency program. Improvements to inefficient battery chargers for consumer electronics provide another opportunity for significant energy savings, said Harinder Singh, CEC program engineer. Battery chargers, which typically are left plugged into wall sockets when not in use, can draw five to twenty times more energy than is stored in the battery. Advanced battery chargers can reduce energy usage by 35 percent. Over 600 million battery charge products are in use nationwide, powering video game consoles (owned by 36 percent of U.S. households), computer monitors and other video display terminals, household appliances, power tools, digital television set top boxes, and other electronics products. Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee chair Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) has dubbed them \u201cvampire\u201d electronics. Consumer electronics plug loads comprise one of the fastest-growing end use energy sectors in California, said Alex Chase of Energy Solutions. This sector is projected to increase from 18 percent of the state\u2019s end energy usage in 2005 to 26 percent in 2010 driven by higher capacity requirements, he said. The average California home watches television over 8 hours a day, consuming 6,500 GWh\/year and 900 MW during peak demand. California could reduce its energy demand by 1,072 GWh\/year if consumers switched to ENERGY STAR TVs, which comprise one-third of the market, Chase said. \u201cThere\u2019s a large potential savings that should be pursued aggressively,\u201d he said. Appliance efficiency standards have historically accounted for one-fourth of California\u2019s energy savings and proven to be the least expensive compliance tool, Chase said. The Energy Bill mandates that the U.S. Department of Energy develop federal efficiency standards for external power supplies and battery charging systems if it determines that they are technically feasible and cost effective. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency previously adopted separate ENERGY STAR specifications for external power supplies and battery charging systems. Pacific Gas & Electric is evaluating 10 measures to increase lighting efficiency to comply with AB 1109 requirements using a test method developed by its technical partner Energy Solutions, said PG&E program manager Gary Fernstrom. PG&E estimates that the utility\u2019s ongoing energy efficiency programs will result in 1,335 MWh of energy savings in 2008. CEC chair Jackie Pfannenstiel asked if the commission should focus on adopting efficiency measures \u201cwhere we get the biggest bang for our buck?\u201d However, Fernstrom noted that some efficiency measures may provide a smaller energy savings but have a greater opportunity for success. Southern California Edison is conducting studies on neon lights, low ambient task lighting for office workers in cubicles, fluorescent sign lights, portable lighting, and dimming ballasts and controllable lighting, said Randall Higa, Edison\u2019s statewide appliance manager.