California is moving to a 100 percent clean energy grid and should reach two-thirds of its electricity generated from renewables in 2023. Load Management Standards are designed to help integrate renewables on the grid by aligning electricity use with generation and grid capacity using energy storage. These standards will improve air quality, help mitigate future climate change, and create downward pressure on electric rates. Renewables produce varying amounts of power based on when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, and the amount of water flowing in rivers and snowpacks. Load management helps people adjust their energy use to better match the availability of clean electricity. For both residential and business consumers, load management provides electricity bill savings when consumers opt-in to using automated load-shifting devices such as smart thermostats and appliances.
Home and business owners, as well as renters, can save on their bills by using automated load-shifting devices such as smart appliances (water heater, HVAC, EV charger, etc.) to “set it and forget it”, that is using programable devices, to automatically schedule appliance operation based on electricity cost. Smart technology automation already exists and may already be installed in your home or business. The recent revisions to the Load Management Standards require all large utilities and community choice aggregators (CCA) to provide real-time electricity rates in a format that can be shared and communicated with smart devices or service providers. The Load Management Standards make these rates available to customers, enabling load flexibility that benefits customers and the grid.
The Load Management Standards have four primary requirements:
- The California Energy Commission (CEC), large utilities and community choice aggregators maintain the accuracy of existing and future time-varying rates in the publicly available and machine-readable Market Informed Demand Automation Server (MIDAS) rate database.
- Large utilities and CCAs develop a standard rate information access tool to support third-party services.
- Large utilities and CCAs develop and submit locational rates that change at least hourly to reflect marginal wholesale costs.
- Large utilities and CCAs integrate information about new time-varying rates and automation technologies into existing customer education and outreach programs.
These requirements apply to the large investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison), large publicly owned utilities (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Sacramento Municipal Utility District), and large CCAs (Central Coast Community Energy, CleanPower SF, Clean Power Alliance of Southern California, East Bay Community Energy, Marin Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy Authority, Pioneer Community Energy, San Diego Community Power, San Jose Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority, Sonoma Clean Power Authority, Valley Clean Energy), and any CCA that provides in excess of 700 GWh of electricity to customers in any calendar year.
The CEC is continually working to expand opportunities for electricity consumers to benefit from load management.