Energy Efficiency 2010-2012 Evaluation Report

CPUC REPORT HIGHLIGHTS ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESULTS

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 2015 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today said that utility energy efficiency activities between 2010 and 2012 resulted in enough energy savings to power nearly 800,000 homes for a year and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 5.3 million tons, the equivalent of removing more than 1 million cars from California’s roads.

In its 2010–2012 Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report issued today, the CPUC details the results of consumer-funded energy efficiency programs on which the utilities spent approximately $2.5 billion over the three-year program cycle. The report finds that every dollar invested in energy efficiency, including activities to improve appliance and building codes and standards, returned $1.31 in savings to ratepayers. This represents a net savings of more than $750 million for the life of the actions taken during the program cycle.

“The report released today demonstrates the impact of our energy efficiency programs on reducing energy use,” said Carla J. Peterman, the Assigned Commissioner on energy efficiency at the CPUC. “Energy savings from the 2010-2012 program cycle exceeded our savings goals, but the results from field evaluations also reveal significant room for improvement.”

The report is a synthesis and summary of results from more than 80 studies conducted across the energy efficiency activities. Each detailed study referenced in the report is the basis for CPUC direction to the investor-owned utilities to continue to improve savings estimates and program design.

 The 2010-2012 energy efficiency activities resulted in:

  •  Saving approximately 7,745 gigawatt hours (GWh) in electricity, enough to power nearly 800,000 homes for a year and potentially offset nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) of summer peak electricity generation.
  •  Saving approximately 170 million therms of natural gas.
  • Reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 5.3 million tons, the equivalent of removing more than 1 million cars from California’s roads.
  • Improving the energy efficiency levels of building codes and appliance standards statewide.

Residential Buildings

  •  The residential energy sector accounts for approximately one-third of the state’s electric and natural gas usage.
  •  Investor-owned utilities spent approximately $653 million on residential efficiency programs.
  •  The report identifies savings of 4,271 GWh and 688 MW, representing more than 50 percent of total gross electric and power demand savings.
  •  The majority of evaluated residential sector savings for the 2010-2012 program cycle come from lighting, appliance recycling, household appliances, and consumer electronics.
  •  Approximately 1 percent of evaluated electric savings come from HVAC measures.

Commercial Buildings

  •  Commercial buildings consume more electricity than any other sector in California – 38 percent of the state’s electricity use and more than 25 percent of natural gas consumption.
  •  Investor-owned utilities spent approximately $970 million on commercial energy efficiency programs.
  •   Evaluated gross savings were 2,312 GWh and 395 MW, representing 29 percent of total portfolio gross electric and demand savings.

Industrial and Agricultural Sectors

  • Two of California’s biggest economic contributors are also two of California’s biggest energy consumers, with the industrial and agriculture sectors accounting for approximately 22 percent and 7 percent of the state’s electricity consumption, respectively.
  •  The investor-owned utilities spent approximately $391 million on industrial and agriculture efficiency programs, resulting in evaluated gross savings of 817 GWh and 137 MW, representing approximately 10 percent of both total portfolio electric savings and demand savings.
  •  Gross natural gas savings were approximately 119 million therms for these two sectors, constituting 73 percent of the total portfolio natural gas savings.

This 2010–2012 Energy Efficiency Evaluation Report describes progress made by the state’s investor-owned utilities in fulfilling CPUC policy and meeting goals established for current and future program cycles. It also tracks the impacts of the investor-owned utilities’ energy efficiency activities towards meeting multiple statewide energy and climate policy objectives, including making preferred energy resources like efficiency a reliable resource per the state’s Energy Action Plan, greenhouse gas mitigation goals per the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32), and the California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.