California Expands Energy Efficiency Opportunities

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Making strides for greater energy efficiency in California

Intelligent Utility, November 18, 2015. Image credit: Unsplash

Governor Jerry Brown, joined by a diverse group of utilities and industry partners, made history recently by signing into law California’s most ambitious climate goals to date. The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (also known as Senate Bill 350) calls for a 50 percent increase in building efficiency by 2030. Adopted in conjunction, Assembly Bill 802 provides the means to meet this goal by changing the way energy savings in buildings are measured. Combined, these two mandates expand the opportunity for Californians to pursue energy efficiency as a key part of reaching the state’s overall climate goals.

Using technology to advance energy efficiency

Together, the bills empower utilities to take advantage of recent technology advances in energy efficiency to help customers simultaneously decrease energy consumption, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By allowing utilities to leverage California’s investment in SmartMeters, Assembly Bill 802 changes the way energy savings in buildings are measured. The bill shifts away from using building codes as a baseline to determine energy efficiency, and standardizes by using a building’s actual energy consumption measured at the meter.

By allowing utilities to pair meter data with data analytics to find and measure savings, Assembly Bill 802 empowers customers to reduce usage in their energy system as a whole, rather than focusing narrowly on replacement of equipment. Customers will be able to better track how they reduce energy waste in commercial buildings, as well as at home, and be incentivized for doing so.

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