An Eye Toward Energy Planning

As California aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy and energy efficiency, the California Energy Commission is making it easier to track the energy plans of a publicly owned utility (POU).

POUs are required to adopt integrated resource plans by January 1, 2019, and submit them to the Energy Commission for review. These plans should express the resource needs of POUs, policy goals, operational constraints, and proposed resource choices. For instance, a POU might plan to add energy from renewable sources when a natural gas power plant retires in the near future. Other activities that could reduce demand for new generation resources – sometimes called preferred demand-side resources – should also be part of the plans and include energy efficiency, demand response programs for customers, and energy storage.

To make this process more transparent to the public, the Energy Commission has created a web page to provide information on POU activities, hearings, and events.

“Integrated resource plans will shape California’s energy future,” said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “It’s a process we want accessible to every person who is interested in understanding our energy mix and its impact on the world around us.”

The integrated resource plan process was established by Senate Bill 350 (De León). The legislation expects the plans to provide a framework to evaluate how a utility has aligned its work with the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and other policy goals of the legislation. SB 350 codified Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels, double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings, and generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

The Energy Commission has adopted guidelines on how the integrated resource plans should be developed. Once the plans are established in 2019 they will be updated eat least once every five years.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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