- The California Energy Commission indicates that Californians should have adequate supplies of electricity this summer, even if the State experiences warmer than normal temperatures, as long as consumers continue to use energy efficiently.
In its electricity demand forecast released today, the Energy Commission said ample resources will be available to meet statewide peak loads and operating reserves will be sufficient in the event of a very warm summer. The outlook includes more than 2,500 megawatts from new power plants coming on-line in the State by August ‹ typically the month when electricity is used the most.
"While California is in a better position this year than we were last year at this time, we are still counting on consumers to continue conserving electricity this coming summer", stressed Steve Larson, Executive Director for the California Energy Commission. "Last year the State invested $859 million dollars in energy efficiency measures and those measures will continue to help consumers conserve electricity this coming summer."
This year's electricity demand levels will depend heavily on the extent that consumers' continue their 2001 conservation patterns, according to the forecast. While the State is not expected to achieve the same levels of energy efficiency accomplished last year when consumers saved as much as 5,570 megawatts during the peak usage day, the forecast relies on a significant increase in conservation over 2000 levels. Since air conditioners use approximately 30 percent of the State's total electricity consumption during peak summer hours, electricity use can increase significantly on hotter days.
Last year's phenomenal energy conservation efforts by California's electricity consumers, the addition of new power plants that generated more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity and moderate summer temperatures helped the State avoid rolling blackouts.
The California ISO indicated in a recent report that if California experiences a hotter-than-expected summer, it may need to rely on increased imports and emergency mitigation measures to maintain required operating reserves within its control area.
The Energy Commission report, 2002 Monthly Electricity Forecast: California Supply and Demand Capacity Balances for May to December, is available on line at
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