California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story
Saving Billions of Dollars and Curbing Tons of Pollution
California's long, bipartisan history of promoting energy efficiency -- America's cheapest and cleanest energy resource -- has saved Golden State residents more than $65 billion, helped lower their residential electricity bills to 25 percent below the national average, and contributed to the state's continuing leadership in creating green jobs.
These achievements, which began in the 1970s and continued under both Democratic and Republican leadership, have helped California avoid at least 30 power plants and as much climate-warming carbon pollution as is spewed from 5 million cars annually. This sustained commitment has made California a nationally recognized leader in reducing energy consumption and improving its residents' quality of life.
Although some of California's flat per capita electricity consumption may be attributed to factors independent of energy policy (such as more people per household, on average), the simple truth is this: Efficiency policies that produce more energy-saving technologies work. California has reaped substantial energy-savings benefits thanks to policies that can be easily adopted elsewhere: more research and development of new technologies, utility programs to help consumers lower their bills, and minimum standards that ensure new buildings and appliances are not energy guzzlers.
Enormous potential still remains to save energy more cheaply than it can be produced. In California alone, studies have identified opportunities over the coming decade that could keep more than 10 new power plants from being built, saving utility customers billions and helping to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels as required by the state's Global Warming Solutions Act. California's success story demonstrates that efficiency policies work, saving billions of dollars and curbing tons of pollution.
last revised 7/8/2013
Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.
- Efficient Appliances Save Energy -- and Money
- A consumer's guide to buying energy efficient appliances and electronics.