Southern California Edison Sets Goals for Electrifying Transportation and Buildings

Electrifying the transportation and building sectors in California are key goals for Southern California Edison (SCE) – the utility that serves 15 million people across 15 counties in Southern California.

“We believe that electricity could be the affordable, sustainable game changing alternative to help California achieve clean energy goals,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president of regulatory affairs for SCE.

Choi gave a talk at the California Energy Commission on February 27 where she introduced SCE’s goals on electrification that are included in the recent white paper: “The Clean Power and Electrification Pathway.”

“It all starts with emissions -- we have to get away from combustion, and electricity can help us achieve that,” Choi said.

Source: Southern California Edison

The authors of the paper call for the electrification of 24 percent of all passenger cars and a significant number of trucks and buses. Transportation accounts for nearly half of California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when refineries and related emissions are factored.

“Southern California is a fine example of why this is needed because we have two of the largest ports in the country that have heavy traffic and significant highway congestion,” said Choi.

The white paper calls for 7 million light duty vehicles and 220,000 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to be emission free vehicles by 2030. Currently, there are roughly 330,000 electric vehicles in California.

The report also calls for using electricity to power nearly a third of space and water heaters in homes and businesses.

Doing so, in addition to increased energy efficiency and strong building codes and standards, could reduce GHG emissions from 49 to 37 metric tons per year, the report said.

“We currently use fossil fuels for space and water building heating as part of the building code, and we don’t need to do that,” said Choi.

SCE is also interested in decarbonizing the electric sector, with the white paper calling for an 80 percent clean energy zero emission grid that integrates renewables and energy storage.

SCE’s goals on electrification dovetail with California’s GHG emission reduction goals which include reducing GHG emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

“There is a lot of work to do the next 12 years to hit the 40 percent below 1990 target, and even more to meet the ambitious goal of an 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050,” Choi said.

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