OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR


GAAS:326:04
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07/27/2004


Governor Schwarzenegger Holds Energy Meeting;
Asks for Stepped Up Conservation Efforts

Business leaders, public asked to participate in energy use reduction programs;
Governor signs Executive Order requiring state government to lead by example in conservation efforts

Governor Schwarzenegger today held a meeting at the state Capitol, promoting energy conservation efforts by the public and private sector and individual citizens throughout California. During the meeting, the Governor announced that the state would lead by example in the effort to conserve and signed an executive order (attached) which requires all state agencies to reduce energy use during the peak summer season. In addition, Governor Schwarzenegger held discussions with members the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and business leaders to encourage the use of Demand Response Programs.

He also encouraged their participation in a number of voluntary energy use reduction programs that will be effective in helping the state maximize the availability of power during hot spells and peak usage periods. Finally, during the meeting, the Governor reiterated his support of conservation efforts by private citizens, encouraging them to use less energy particularly during peak periods and enroll in available efficiency programs.

"As the economy grows here in California, so does the demand for energy. To get through this peak demand season in the short term, it will be essential to conserve and invest in energy efficiency," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Today, I have signed an executive order to ensure that the State Government will lead by example. By investing in energy efficient buildings and appliances, conserving power during peak hours and participating in a demand response program, state agencies can save taxpayers dollars and electricity. Today I call upon all of my fellow Californians to work together during this peak demand period to use power wisely and take advantage of the available programs to save energy."


Long-Term Solutions

In the long-term, Governor Schwarzenegger has stated that California needs to build more power plants and transmission lines to meet the needs of a growing population and a robust economy. The Governor laid out his vision to achieve this goal in an April 28 letter to the Public Utilities Commission. The letter calls on the PUC to give the utilities the ability to enter into long-term contracts, something they did not have during the energy crisis. The Governor also called on the PUC to set reserve requirements on the utilities of 15 percent by 2006. These and other steps will end the regulatory uncertainty and provide incentives to attract investors to build power generation and transmission lines in California again.


Short-Term Solutions

Governor Schwarzenegger has called on citizens to use energy wisely. Conservation and investments in energy efficiency helped California drastically reduce energy use during the crisis in 2000-01. The Governor has asked Californians to renew their efforts to conserve power, especially during peak hours this summer. During today's meeting, two specific types of conservation plans were highlighted:


Demand Response Programs

Demand response programs are administered by the local utilities and provide a financial incentive for customers who agree to reduce or completely cut off their power use when the CAISO declares an emergency. These programs provide a financial incentive to the participating customer to reduce their energy use (business and residential) and result in a reliable number of megawatts which the CAISO can count on during an emergency. The public can participate in these programs by contacting their local utility to determine how to save money and reduce energy use.


Voluntary Conservation

For those businesses that are not eligible or cannot join a demand response program, they may voluntarily reduce their power use during a system emergency. Businesses that can dim their lights and reduce air conditioning during the peak hours (3 to 6 p.m., weekdays) can make a significant difference. In addition, residential customers can contribute by turning up the thermostat and running power hungry appliances late at night or early in the morning.

The use of energy efficient appliances and other conservation tools have made a significant difference in savings across the state. For example, in 2001, the Automobile Club of Southern California achieved $135,088 in annual savings by just installing energy efficient lighting at its 75 offices.


Flex Your Power Now

Another component of the state's efforts to cut energy use is the Flex Your Power Program. This year's campaign, called Flex Your Power Now, will be kicked off this week. This campaign will help communicate the importance of conservation, demand response programs and energy efficiency. For more information, link below to visit www.fypower.org.


# # #