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For Immediate Release: MAY 20, 2008
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989

Electricity Forecast Points to Adequate Summer Supply


SACRAMENTO - Californians are expected to have adequate power this summer, even if the state experiences warmer than normal temperatures, according to a California Energy Commission analysis. In its electricity demand forecast, Summer 2008 Electricity Supply and Demand Outlook, the Commission concluded that ample resources should be available to meet statewide peak loads and that operating reserves will be sufficient even with a very warm summer.

"While California is in a good position this summer, even with lower hydro electricity available, we urge consumers to continue conserving electricity on hot afternoons," commented Melissa Jones, California Energy Commission's Executive Director. "Energy efficiency measures will help consumers reduce their electricity use during peak hours and save money."

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. Conservation remains an important tool in helping to meet the state's summer electricity demand.

The Summer 2008 Outlook shows that California's reserve margins (the level of electricity supplies above electricity demand levels) are approximately 22 percent for average weather conditions and approximately 14 percent under hotter-than-normal weather. California is divided into regions north and south of Path 26, a transmission line area that frequently has constraints during periods of high electricity demand. Under hotter-than-normal temperatures, supplies could be tight in Southern California with reserve margins dipping below the 15 percent to 17 percent target criteria.

The analysis also indicates that while California experienced the driest March-April since 1921, hydroelectric capacity will be available to meet peak power needs. The outlook includes 671 megawatts from new power plants coming on-line in the state by August - typically the month when electricity is used the most.

The Summer 2008 Electricity Supply and Demand Outlook is available at
http://www.energy.ca.gov/2008_summer_outlook/documents/

For consumer tips to save energy and money, visit the Energy Commission's Consumer Energy Center at
http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips

Quick and Easy Energy Saving Tips

  • Adjust thermostat to 78°F to turn up energy savings.

  • Turn off unneeded lights.

  • Run major appliances, like dishwashers, clothes washers or dryers, after 7 p.m.

Created by the Legislature in 1974, the California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The Energy Commission has five major responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergency.

Members of the Energy Commission are Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel; Vice Chair James D. Boyd; Commissioners Jeffrey Byron; Karen Douglas; and Dr. Arthur H. Rosenfeld.

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