For immediate release: December 6, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission OKs Guidelines for Programs
to Help State Save 80 Megawatts of Electricity

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today approved guidelines for two programs geared towards the State's commitment to stave off supply disruptions in times of high electricity demand.

Both programs aim to reduce electricity use in homes and commercial buildings. One is targeted to reduce peak period energy use by 50 megawatts in the summer. The other program seeks to retrofit building roofs, making their surfaces "cooler" through reflective coating materials or other means to save another 30 megawatts. A megawatt powers 1,000 typical California homes. The programs hope to cycle back the much-needed juice into the electrical grid to help save California from an energy shortage during the peak hours of 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays from June to September.

The Commission has allocated $10 million to encourage the installation of "demand responsive" software and hardware in buildings. These systems are expected to diminish power required by heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems in response to signals from the Independent System Operator (ISO) or a central dispatch. (The ISO is responsible for 80 percent of the state's electricity grid.)

To achieve its peak load reduction goal, the Commission will award grants or enter into contracts with building and home owners and sign interagency agreements with state agencies and universities to install the demand systems and basic metering equipment. These devices will allow building owners to monitor and record peak savings from system operation. Another $10 million will fund the "cool roofs" program thorough incentives averaging 10 cents per square foot of qualifying roofs that must be installed by June 1, 2001. Qualified school building roofs must be put in place by August 31, 2001. Cool roofs are aimed at reducing solar heat absorbed by roof surfaces and ducts.

Grant applicants for the demand responsive systems have until December 31, 2000 to apply. On the other hand, contracts for regional contractors in the roof initiative will be awarded in the December 2000-January 2001 time frame. Regional contractors include but are not limited to entities such as the Sacramento Cool Communities Project and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Further grant information and other specific requirements for both programs can be obtained from the Commission's Web Site at:

The programs are funded through a bill signed by Governor Gray Davis recently. AB 970 sets aside money to assist the Energy Commission lessen overall energy use in California through various energy conservation measures.

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