Sacramento - The California Energy Commission indicates that
Californians should have adequate supplies of electricity this summer,
even if the State experiences warmer than normal temperatures, as long
as consumers continue to use energy efficiently.
In its electricity demand forecast released today, the Energy Commission
said ample resources will be available to meet statewide peak loads and
operating reserves will be sufficient in the event of a very warm
summer. The outlook includes more than 2,500 megawatts from new power
plants coming on-line in the State by August Ñ typically the month when
electricity is used the most.
"While California is in a better position this year than we were last
year at this time, we are still counting on consumers to continue
conserving electricity this coming summer", stressed Steve Larson,
Executive Director for the California Energy Commission. "Last year the
State invested $859 million dollars in energy efficiency measures and those
measures will continue to help consumers conserve electricity this coming
This year's electricity demand levels will depend heavily on the extent
that consumers' continue their 2001 conservation patterns, according to
the forecast. While the State is not expected to achieve the same levels
of energy efficiency accomplished last year when consumers saved as much
as 5,570 megawatts during the peak usage day, the forecast relies on a
significant increase in conservation over 2000 levels. Since air
conditioners use approximately 30 percent of the State's total
electricity consumption during peak summer hours, electricity use can
increase significantly on hotter days.
Last year's phenomenal energy conservation efforts by California's
electricity consumers, the addition of new power plants that generated
more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity and moderate summer
temperatures helped the State avoid rolling blackouts.
The California ISO indicated in a recent report that if California
experiences a hotter-than-expected summer, it may need to rely on
increased imports and emergency mitigation measures to maintain required
operating reserves within its control area.
The Energy Commission report, 2002 Monthly Electricity Forecast:
California Supply and Demand Capacity Balances for May to December, is
available on line at