California is a long-time leading state for its utility-sector customer energy efficiency programs, which date back to the 1970s and have grown and evolved substantially over three decades. Its programs and related energy efficiency policies have had a significant impact on per capita electricity use, which has remained essentially constant over the past 30 years.
Investor-owned utilities administer energy efficiency programs with oversight by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which establishes key policies and guidelines, sets program goals, and approves spending levels. California's publicly owned utilities (POUs) also administer customer programs. For the 2006-2008 efficiency program cycle, California’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) invested $2.1 billion in efficiency programs, saving 4,097 GWh in net electricity savings and 44 million Therms (MMTh) of natural gas.
All of the investor-owned electric and gas utilities in California have decoupling, which has been in place for many years in California and is an integral part of California's "big, bold" energy efficiency initiative. Utilities may also earn performance incentives for energy efficiency efforts.
California utilities are now operating within a 2010-2012 program portfolio period, which is predicted to produce electricity savings of almost 7,000 GWh and natural gas savings of approximately 150 MMTh (goals expressed in gross, not net savings).
Reported budgets for energy efficiency programs for 2011 are in the State Spending and Savings Tables. Reported electricity savings for 2010 are in the State Spending and Savings Tables.
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