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Doubling Energy Savings by 2030

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Executive Summary

Senate Bill 350 (de Leon, Chapter 547, Statutes of 2015) (SB 350) requires the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) to set annual targets to achieve a statewide cumulative doubling of energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas end uses by January 1, 2030.


There are three sources of savings quantified in the accounting of energy efficiency:  Historical and committed savings: These savings refer to the energy efficiency savings from utility programs and codes and standards embedded in the baseline forecast of the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR). The IEPR forecast also includes savings forecast from approved utility program budgets.


Investor-owned utility (IOU) and publicly owned utility (POU) potential savings: Savings forecast in the IOU and POU potential studies, including rebated equipment and utility codes and standards advocacy claims. Historically, codes and standards and IOU and POU potential studies were the only source of savings included in the Energy Commission’s additional achievable energy efficiency, an accounting for future potential installed energy efficiency savings, in the California energy demand forecast.


Beyond-utility savings: Savings beyond the above-mentioned utility programs calculated for a range of programs that may be counted as part of additional achievable energy efficiency. As programs develop and quantify claimed or verified historical program savings, the Energy Commission will update historical committed savings and forecast savings accordingly. SB 350 savings claims are relative to a baseline year of 2015. All program savings claims begin in that year and cumulate to 2030.


As part of the analysis, the beyond-utility savings must not overlap with utility program savings (historical and forecasted). The analysis of the savings potential per program includes subtracting out overlap. This report describes the analysis and assumptions used to quantify beyondutility program savings. Beyond-utility programs are programs not administered or claimed by the IOUs or POUs. The beyond-utility programs may be educational initiatives, financing strategies, and other mechanisms that may drive California ratepayers to reduce their energy use. The beyond-utility programs considered in this report are:


Codes and Standards: Codes and standards are laws that set a minimum level of efficiency required for new buildings and appliances constructed or sold in California. Analysis of codes and standards in this 2 SB 350 method may supplant the utility-claimed savings from potential studies and does not include those savings already embedded in the IEPR baseline forecast. The scope of codes and standards savings for SB 350 ignores any utility attribution factors and focuses solely on the actual impact of the codes and standards.


Financing: Financing programs include low-interest loans and grants. There are some cases that projects using financing also leverage utility program incentives. Any savings quantified for financing programs should include an overlap analysis with utility program participation.


Behavior and Market Transformation: Behavior programs are those associated with energy efficiency savings that result from behavioral changes as opposed to installing a physical measure, like new lighting or equipment controls. Market transformation is another opportunity to realize energy savings through accelerating widespread measure adoption. These efforts may provide public education, funding, or other approaches to remove barriers.


Sector/Other: Several other programs have the potential to deliver significant savings in specific sectors or markets. These programs (listed below) may require the Energy Commission to explore new avenues to drive the market to change. Accompanying this report is a set of beyond-utility tools that enables the Energy Commission to track or calculate historically achieved savings, forecast future savings from existing programs, and forecast new savings potential from future initiatives.


The Energy Commission must report biennially to the Legislature on progress achieved toward meeting these targets and the effects on disadvantaged communities. This report provides the method and background information that feeds into the Energy Commission’s report to the Legislature toward the SB 350 goal.

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