Building on California’s proud history in energy efficiency, the CPUC has approved a portfolio of energy efficiency programs and budgets for the state’s utilities for 2013-2014, further affirming that cost-effective energy efficiency is the state’s least expensive and most environmental resource, as well as the first line of defense against power shortages.
Approved programs will deliver approximately 4,000 gigawatt-hours and 750 megawatts of electricity savings over the next two years, reducing the need for at least two large power plants, while also delivering significant savings of natural gas.
The CPUC approved plans for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Company, and community choice aggregator Marin Energy Authority.
Further, to better leverage energy efficiency expertise at the local government level, the CPUC created two Regional Energy Networks (RENs) to complement the utility programs – the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) and the Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN). RENs are a new concept for this cycle of energy efficiency programs. They are independently administered by local governments and serve as an incubator for new ideas.
The CPUC approved a total budget of approximately $1.9 billion for the energy efficiency efforts of the utilities, MEA, and the two Regional Energy Networks.
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The CPUC has approved the renewable energy plans of the state’s utilities, paving the way for the utilities to solicit bids for green energy procurement.
California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The RPS program requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources to 33 percent of total procurement by 2020.
The CPUC approved the renewable energy procurement plans of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric.
The CPUC’s decision includes modifications pertaining to standard variables for the least-cost, best-fit bid evaluation methodology; contract termination rights based on higher than expected transmission upgrade costs; and the use of energy-only and full deliverability Time of Delivery factors.
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