News Release

For Immediate Release: May 23, 1996
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 - 654 - 4989

Thermal Storage Could Save Dollars, Clean Air

When put to commercial use, thermal energy storage (TES), a technology that lowers electricity consumed by air-conditioning during peak load periods, will reduce electric source energy and make California's air cleaner, a report prepared for the California Energy Commission states.

The report said widespread use of TES could lower customers' air conditioning costs by 30-50 percent; reduce nitrogen oxide emissions equivalent to 100,000 vehicles in the Los Angeles air basin; and save enough source energy to supply up to 500,000 electric cars envisioned for the next decade in California.

TES is a technology that stores "cooling" energy in a thermal storage mass, usually in the form of ice or water. A building's TES system allows cooling made at night, when electricity is cheap, to be stored for air-conditioning usage during the day.

The report, Source Energy and Environmental Impact of Thermal Energy Storage also said California's electric industry, which is on the threshold of restructuring, could save at least one billion dollars in capital investments in transmission and distribution systems through TES.

The report was prepared for the TES collaborative facilitated by the Energy Commission. One of the Commission's programs, called Opportunity Technologies Commercialization Program (OTCOM), seeks to increase the market penetration of energy technologies offering energy, environmental and economic benefits. TES is one of 10 such technologies under OTCOM.

To obtain a copy of the report (publication number P500-95-005), call the Commission's publication's unit at (916) 654-5200. You can download a copy of the report's executive summary from the Commission's Internet Web site at:

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