Report finds billions in available efficiency savings for California electricity customers

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 24, 2002 — A report released recently by XENERGY concludes that California could save billions of dollars and reduce the number of new power plants needed in the state by investing more heavily in energy efficiency.

The study, California’s Secret Energy Surplus: The Potential for Energy Efficiency, calculates that California can save up to 3,500 megawatts of peak demand and net over $8 billion in savings over the next decade by restoring public efficiency funding to just above 1994 levels (adjusted for inflation).

“Our research shows that there are thousands of megawatts of untapped energy efficiency potential left in California,” said Mike Rufo, XENERGY vice president and author of the study. “In fact, we found you could double California’s current investment in energy efficiency and save Californians an extra $3 billion. Saving energy by increasing our efficiency is the fastest, most environmentally sound way to meet increased demand in addition to offering price stability at a low cost,” he continued.

XENERGY’s study assessed energy efficiency potential across California for all electricity customers, large and small. The study assessed the achievable energy efficiency potential over the next ten years using hundreds of commercially available measures. Californians currently support energy efficiency investments of approximately $240 million annually and have created about 10,000 MW of peak demand reduction from past energy efficiency investment.

“The energy efficiency potential in California is the size of a dozen or more major new generation facilities. Yet with efficiency we can get lower energy bills and create no power plant emissions,” stated Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Program Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The question for California is how to ensure that efficiency is weighed fairly against generation options as we decide when and how to invest to meet our energy needs,” he added.

The full report can be downloaded from the Energy Foundation web site at:

XENERGY ( is an energy consulting, information technology and energy services firm headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts with offices in Oakland, California and across the country. Founded in 1975, XENERGY is part of the KEMA Consulting Group, an international consultancy providing technical and management consulting services to the electric and gas industry. KEMA Consulting is a wholly-owned subsidiary of KEMA NV, headquartered in Arnhem, The Netherlands.

The report is part of the Hewlett Energy Series, a research project on the California power crisis produced in partnership between the Energy Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation. The Energy Foundation is a partnership of major foundations working to create a transition to a sustainable energy future by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. The foundation has programs in the United States and in China and operates with a budget of over $20 million per year. Partner foundations include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation.


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