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Stabilizing California's Demand

The real reasons behind the state’s energy savings.

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2009

13. Data from the National Climatic Data Center.

14. 1970 data supplied by Reuben Deumling, Energy & Resources Group, UC Berkeley; 2006 data from U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2006.

15 . See William B. Marcus, Gregory Ruszovan, and Jeffrey A. Nahigian, Economic and Demographic Factors Affecting California’s Residential Energy Use , (West Sacramento, Calif.: JBS Energy, Inc., 2002), Figure 3.

16. This is not simply because larger households have larger houses. A recent study has found that larger houses have higher energy consumption not because there are more people in them but because the people in them consume proportionately more energy than people living in smaller houses. That is, electricity use per household member increases with the size of the house. See Mithra Moezzi and Rick Diamond. Is Efficiency Enough? Towards a New Framework for Carbon Savings in the California Residential Sector . CEC, PIER Energy-Related Environmental Research. CEC-500-2005-162.

17. U.S. Historical Census of Housing Tables – Units in Structure, available at:

18. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey, Table HC6-7a: Usage Indicators by Four Most Populated States , 2001 .

19. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey 1997, Table HC5-7a: Appliances by Four Most Populated States. Available at:; Energy Information Administration; Residential Energy Consumption Survey 2001, Table CE4-7c: Water-Heating Energy Consumption in U.S. Households by Four Most Populated States .

20. These include the following industries: nonmetallic minerals, primary metals, food, paper, petroleum and coal, and chemicals. See Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2007 .

21. Current Employment Statistics Survey – various years, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Available at These data exclude the pharmaceutical industry, which in contrast to “bulk chemical” manufacturing, is not energy intensive. Pharmaceuticals dominate in California, accounting for over 50 percent of employment in the chemical industry in 2005 compared to 31 percent in the rest of the United States.

22. U.S. Department of Energy, Indicators of Energy Intensity in the U.S: Industrial Sector Data .

23. Work of Energy Economics Inc. as consultant to TURN in R.06-04-010 during 2nd and 3rd quarters 2007. Energy Economics Inc. per capita analysis separate and apart from the TURN work.

24. It is important to point out that “a modest growth in [energy] savings” is not the same thing as “an absolute reduction in energy consumption,” although this often is implied. The only outcome commensurate with California’s global warming policies is unambiguous and sustained declines in total energy/electricity consumption. Slight variations in the positive rate of growth are still movement in the opposite direction of that now mandated.

25. The characterization of California’s historical building and appliance standard EE savings is an entirely separate matter worthy of additional detailed analysis, given the fact that the savings are highly dependent on assumed levels of compliance rates. The CEC DSM Forecast assumes relatively high levels of building and appliance standards compliance. The May 2007 “Statewide Codes and Standards Market Adoption and Noncompliance Rates,” Final Report , CPUC