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For Immediate Release: March 25, 2002
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

M E D I A     A D V I S O R Y

Attention NEWS AND ASSIGNMENT Editors: Officials at the California Energy Commission are available for comment regarding the State's stand on the Bush Administration's expected announcement today to roll back the energy efficiency of air conditioners.

Art Rosenfeld, Energy Commissioner will be available by phone from Berkeley. Scott Matthews, Deputy Director for Efficiency and Demand Analysis will field questions in person or by phone from the Commission.

Rosenfeld and Matthews will explain why it is not a good idea for Washington to require that the cheapest air conditioners built starting in 2006 and beyond be 20 percent more efficient, instead of being 30 percent more efficient as required by the Clinton Administration.

In California, for example, air conditioners are big power consumers. Air conditioning uses 30 percent of all electricity in the State during hot summer afternoons. That's roughly a consumption of 16,000 megawatts of electricity - a huge chunk that affects the power grid when electricity demand peaks.

More efficient air conditioners mean fewer power outages and less need for new power plants.

To set up interviews, please call the Media and Public Communications Office at (916) 654-4989.

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