Energy Efficiency Costs a Fraction of Purchasing Electricity in California

July 28, 2005

The California Energy Commission (CEC) published a paper this week that tabulates the savings versus funding for the state's utility programs for energy efficiency over the last five years. Altogether, the state's three electrical investor-owned utilities spent $1.4 billion on energy efficiency programs from 2000 to 2004. During these five years, meeting demand for electricity with energy efficiency was substantially cheaper than generating electricity in power plants.

Over the last five years, the average (levelized) cost for electricity generation on weekdays between noon and 7 pm was $0.167 cents per kWh, more than five times the average levelized cost of energy efficiency for this same period at $0.029 cents per kWh.

By 2004, the levelized cost of energy from energy efficiency projects in California had dropped to the lowest point in five years at $0.011 per kWh. CEC publishes the report online and titled "Funding and Savings for Energy Efficiency Programs in Program Years 2000 through 2004" (PDF 80 KB)

Source: July 27 edition of the California Energy Commission's Flex-Your Power E-Newswire.