Powering Forward: Publicly Owned Utilities Are Critical to California’s Energy Efficiency Progress

This report was co-authored by Amulya Yerrapotu.

California’s publicly owned utilities (POUs), serving more than 3.5 million customers and providing a quarter of the state’s electricity, have made significant contributions to the state’s transition to a clean energy future. Over the past 12 years, California’s POU energy efficiency programs have saved customers more than $4.3 billion in total on their electric bills, providing nearly $3 in benefits for every $1 invested after accounting for the $1.6 billion cost of the programs. These programs have also avoided more than 2 million metric tons of carbon pollution, equal to the annual emissions from 430,000 cars.

Still, there are opportunities to further cut pollution and save customers more money. The POUs can increase investments in efficiency programs, test out new ways to cut energy waste, and expand services for low- and middle-income customers. These efforts would help lower customer bills, support local economies, and reduce pollution—ultimately creating a cleaner and healthier environment for all Californians.


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