This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 12, 2002

Report: Conservation Kept California's Lights On

A new report from DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) says that energy efficiency and conservation allowed California to avoid blackouts last summer. The LBNL researchers found that weather and the economy were not factors in the observed load reductions, which helped to avoid at least 50 hours of tight power supply situations — possibly as much as 160 hours. In April 2001, the North American Electric Reliability Council predicted that the state would have about 250 hours of rolling blackouts during the summer, but the blackouts were avoided.

According to the report, California consumers responded to the electricity crisis by installing energy efficient equipment, installing onsite generation, and modifying their electricity consumption habits or patterns. See the LBNL press release.