Improving Data Helps Track California’s Climate Goal Progress

The California Energy Commission relies on many sources of data to set energy policy and track progress in meeting a number of statewide energy goals.

At the February 21 business meeting, the Energy Commission approved regulations that will provide new and expanded ways to collect and coordinate statistics and energy-related analyses. Improving the Energy Commission’s analytical capabilities will help track energy efficiency savings and identify new opportunities in support of doubling savings by 2030.

Recent legislation directed the Energy Commission to deliver more localized energy forecasts. The adopted regulations address critical data required for this while supporting the need for more detailed analysis and modeling of possible energy futures. More localized and detailed models help policymakers understand and plan for the growing local impacts of small residential or commercial self-generation systems using net-energy metering, also called behind-the-meter resources.

Predicting where load reductions will take place because of efficiency measures and behind-the-meter resources helps utilities and regulators reduce the need for new fossil fuel generation. This could save ratepayers money and help reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The adopted regulations:
• Require California’s largest utilities to provide the Energy Commission with customer-level energy data, including monthly billing information and smart meter data. This will ensure policymakers are aware of trends – such as the rise in electric vehicles and greater use of distributed energy resources (smaller power sources often connected behind-the-meter) — to support the state’s environmental and energy related goals. This information will allow regulators to assist low-income and disadvantaged customers by better understanding current program participation and expected future needs.
• Require the state’s largest utilities to provide data on interconnected behind-the-meter resources. Doing so ensures statewide forecasting and planning activities accurately account for the rapid growth of these small-scale resources distributed across the system.
• Require the state’s largest gas utilities to provide natural gas hydraulic modeling data to support public health and safety so the Energy Commission can conduct independent analyses in response to recent issues at Aliso Canyon and San Bruno.
• Require utilities to submit information on combined heat and power resources to more accurately track conversion efficiencies and associated greenhouse gas benefits.

The new data will also be used with existing data sources to track energy efficiency savings according to demographics, climate zones, local jurisdictions, rate or customer class, building type, and program participation.

The statewide target for doubling energy efficiency has been established and using this new data, the Energy Commission is poised to track progress in meeting it. The Energy Commission will also use the information to identify opportunities for program improvements to ensure the target is met.

Visit the Energy Commission’s website for more information on doubling energy efficiency savings.

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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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