For Immediate Release: December 10, 2018

En Español (Links to a PDF file)

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved energy efficiency standards for portable air conditioners today that will save consumers millions of dollars and reduce electricity consumption, which in turn reduces pollutants associated with electricity generation.

The standards apply to portable air conditioners that attach to an adjustable window bracket. The standards are performance based. Some of the improvements shown to be technically feasible include increasing the size of the heat exchanger, improving the compressor and fan motor, or lowering the amount of energy used when in standby mode. The standards save consumers nearly three times the cost of the upgrades. Over a decade the standards will save Californians nearly $50 million. Once all products are replaced, the savings will equal $50 million annually. The standards go into effect in February 2020.

The Energy Commission also awarded nearly $11 million to speed the transition of new energy technologies from prototype to pilot demonstration stage and, ultimately, to market where they can support the state’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

The grant was awarded to California Clean Energy Fund Ventures, which supports innovation and equity in the clean energy economy, to establish and manage a statewide network of test beds for technology innovation and development.

The effort, called the California Test Bed Initiative, will provide participating energy entrepreneurs with testing and certification services needed to refine their prototypes, as well as verification that new technologies meet customer performance and safety specifications before field trials.

Funding for the project comes from the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which funds clean energy innovations, strategies, and applications that help the state meet its energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

Additionally, the Energy Commission approved the City of Arcata’s request to adopt enhanced building efficiency standards. Local authorities are required to apply to the Energy Commission if their proposed standards are more stringent than state standards. Local standards must be cost effective and buildings must be designed so they consume no more energy than allowed under the state’s standards.

The Arcata ordinance will require all new single-family construction to use only 70 percent of the energy budget permitted for compliance with the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The ordinance will also require all new low-rise, multi-family buildings to use only 80 percent of the energy budget permitted to comply with the 2016 Energy Standards.

More details are available in the business meeting agenda.


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About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.