California’s Governor Jerry Brown has passed a demand response (DR) legislation that accelerates the use of DR programmes in the state.
DR programmes enable energy consumers to manage their consumption in an energy efficient and cost-effective way. The bill is also aimed to help the Californian state to meet its growing electricity needs.
The Public Utilities Commission now can consider demand response management in planning how to balance and ensure reliability for the state's power grid. Currently, DR programmes are administered by California’s three regulated investor-owned utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. The utilities also rely on third-party operators to enroll customers in certain DR programmes.
"Demand response programs will not only enable Californians to get rebates in exchange for reducing their electricity use during times of peak energy demand, but will reduce the need for costly and polluting power plants that run only when there is peak demand for electricity,” said Senator Lois Wolk, author of the bill.
"As California continues to modernize its power grid and grow its economy, EDF hopes to see the rest of the nation follow suit to advance the innovative technologies needed to create cleaner, more efficient, and more affordable power," said EDF attorney and California senior manager Lauren Navarro-Treichler.
Power supplier EDF was lobbying for bill 1414 and emphasised the need to build a more resilient low-carbon electricity system.