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California launches the nation's largest energy efficiency plan

The state of California has approved a new energy efficiency plan, providing $3.1 billion for programs from PG&E, Sempra Energy and Edison International.  The state is interested in providing financial benefits for programs designed to persuade home owners to use less energy.

Specifically, the $3.1 billion budget approved by the California Public Utilities Commission will help pave the way to savings of 7,000 gigawatt hours, 150 million metric therms of natural gas, and 1,500 megawatts of electricity.

City, county, and regional agencies will receive up to $265 million when they create energy-efficiency efforts.  Home owners will be able to monitor energy-usage statistics when they log onto the internet, the plan states.

"Capturing the full energy efficiency potential in the state requires more than simply providing rebates to support the installation of the latest and greatest widget," according to Michael Peevey, the state's commission president.

According to the state commission, energy  savings would be the same as three 500 megawatt power plants.  Furthermore, the new state-led programs would create between 15,000 and 18,000 new jobs, while also eliminating almost 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions across the state.

"The focus is to shift priorities away from rebates for widgets to sustained energy savings in the built environment," California Public Utilities Commission member Dian Grueneich told the media.  "These numbers are breathtaking in their own right."

Due to the faltering economy, energy conservation and efficiency have been popular among consumers and companies interested in reducing costs.

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RE: 3B!?
By drmo on 9/25/2009 4:38:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's immediately what I thought, but I clicked the link and found out that it is partly paid for by natural gas and electricity bills. I couldn't figure out where all of the money comes from though.

RE: 3B!?
By werfu on 9/25/2009 4:46:46 PM , Rating: 3
Price increase, Carbon tax, your pocket?

RE: 3B!?
By Shig on 9/25/2009 4:45:44 PM , Rating: 3
Seems like a leverage plan to me. Stimulus money -> create jobs, lower energy consumption.

All of the details about how they're actually going to execute those numbers are mysteriously absent. Sounds familiar.

RE: 3B!?
By Spuke on 9/25/2009 6:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
What I think is hilarious is that CA claims they're interested in creating more "green" business but those same "green" businesses are leaving CA as fast as the other one's. CA is number 49 on the business friendly list. Their regulatory agents are like the mafia. Actually, I think the mafia would be friendlier.

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