On Monday the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made its draft Strategic Plan for Energy Efficiency available for comment, which details a sweeping plan to implement energy efficiency technology for residential, industrial and commercial buildings. CPUC Commissioner Dian Grueneich said last Friday at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Energy Summit at Stanford that the latest version of the state’s California Energy Efficiency Plan will be made available to read online on Monday, and the CPUC followed up with a press release Monday afternoon.
The document will be an update of the one the CPUC has been working on since October, and will map out how the state will achieve its goals of: 1) Ensuring that all new residential construction is zero net energy by 2020, 2) Ensuring that all new commercial construction is zero net energy by 2030, and 3) Transforming the heating, ventilating and air conditioning in the state’s buildings. The next steps in the process are public hearings and a comment period, before the CPUC plan to vote on the proposal in September.
Energy to heat, cool and construct buildings accounts for over 50 percent of the power used in the U.S. And energy efficiency technology, like smart meters, new heating and cooling systems, and smart grid technologies provides some of the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions associated with electricity generation. Last October the CPUC mandated that investor owned utilities — along with publicly-owned utilities and state agencies — would create a strategic plan to deliver state energy efficiency goals for 2009 through 2020.
According to the California Energy Commission’s 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report, building standards have saved consumers a good $56 billion in electricity and natural gas costs over the past 30 years, and supposedly averted building 15 large power plants. The CES is estimating that new standards will save the equivalent of $23 billion by 2013.