CA - Power Regulators Delay Energy Savings Plan : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Power Regulators Delay Energy Savings Plan (KFWB) 7.12.01, 11:10a --

California's Public Utilities Commission has shelved a plan to save electricity by reducing the power to common household appliances. The PUC was poised to approve the plan today, but delayed a vote after apparent last-minute reservations by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). PG&E is the state's largest power utility. It has filed for bankruptcy.

The plan would have the state's three largest utilities -- including Southern California Edison -- reduce the 120 volts sent into homes down to about 117 volts. The reduction should have little effect on lights and appliances, but may save hundreds of megawatts in all.

PG&E officials responded to PUC's decision to delay debate on the idea with a large shrug. Utility officials say they support the plan and are baffled by the delay.

What is up for debate is how much power the plan would actually save, how long implementation would take, and whether some service might become less reliable because of the reduction in volts.

PG&E had originally said hundreds of megawatts could be saved within a month. On Tuesday, it amended that figure to 40 megawatts in three months, according to the PUC.

PG&E says it has already reduced voltage, and can only reduce a collective 40 megawatts more. But it is willing to make the reduction.

The PUC could take up the matter at its next meeting on August

-- PHO (, July 12, 2001


The power already fluctuates when it is "set" at 120 volts. How low will it get when it is "set" at 117? Gaaack. I was going to replace my refrigerator with a more efficient one, but if there is a chance the new one could get damaged, why bother?

-- Margaret J (, July 12, 2001.

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