Innovative Bill Would Save Customers Millions, Help State Fight Climate Change

Wide range of businesses, environmental groups support SB 1414 (Wolk)

April 30, 2014

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Joaquin McPeek, jmcpeek@edf.org, 916-492-7173

Senate Bill 1414 (Wolk) was voted out of committee today and is on a clear path to save Californians energy and money. The bill would ensure that state regulators and utilities use demand response programs to lower electricity bills, improve air quality, and enhance electric grid reliability.

“SB 1414 is a win-win for clean energy in California. It saves consumers money, increases the use of clean, renewable energy and reduces harmful emissions and other pollutants by empowering people, rather than power plants, to meet energy demand,” said Lauren Navarro, Attorney and California Senior Manager, Clean Energy.

Demand response is an innovative tool used by utilities to reward people who use less electricity during times of peak, or high, energy demand, when power plants are pushed to their limits and struggle to supply enough electricity. With lower demand, utilities have less need for “peaker” power plants – which are commonly used only to generate power several dozen hours per year and one of the state’s most expensive and least efficient electrical generating resources. With reduced demand easing stress on existing power plants, demand response in turn reduces the need to build new costly and dirty fossil fuel power plants. 

SB 1414 will elevate the role that demand response will play in resource planning, requiring investor-owned utilities to consider it in their resource planning. This would lead to a more competitive and economically efficient electric market.

“This bill highlights the vital role that demand response can play in our state’s clean energy future,” said Navarro. 

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