For Immediate Release: February 10, 2016
Media Contact: Michael Ward - 916-654-4989


Key Assessment of California Energy Adopted by Commission
Commission also awards grants for intelligent thermostat and smart charging software

SACRAMENTO - Today the California Energy Commission adopted its biennial report on energy issues facing the state.

The 2015 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) assesses major energy trends and issues and provides policy recommendations. This year's edition covers a broad range of topics including the continuing need to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and appliances, decarbonizing the electricity sector and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

The report provides a 10-year forecast of electricity consumption and peak demand. It finds projected electricity consumption to be slightly lower than past projections because of declining consumption and higher projections for self-generation, mostly from photovoltaic systems. The report also projects higher natural gas demand, but less natural gas to be used for electricity generation.

The report forecasts transportation energy demand for the next 10 years and provides updates on the electricity infrastructure in Southern California, the status of California's nuclear plants, and trends in crude oil production and transport.

Also during the Commission's business meeting, commissioners voted to award more than $2 million to the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto to research and develop an “intelligent” thermostat that will bring smart technology to low-income and senior residences that may lack access to the broadband technology those devices often require.

Like many of the new smart heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control systems, the intelligent thermostat will learn from and adapt to the homeowner's behavior to help reduce their energy bills and provide a more comfortable living environment. But instead of using broadband, it will use Bluetooth or local Wi-Fi technology. Home owners will be able to control the thermostat through its dashboard or through a smartphone application. When commercially available, the battery-operated thermostat is expected to be priced at about $60.

The Energy Commission also approved a $1.5 million grant to UC Berkeley to develop advanced smart-charging software to help manage issues caused by the increasing number of electric plug-in vehicles connecting to the electrical utility grid in California.

For details on action taken at today's business meeting see

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. 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.