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Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Utilities Preach Conservation, Cut Consumer Efficiency Programs
Tuesday, August 24, 1999

View and Download the report here: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

In the five years before electricity deregulation, California utilities cut funding in half for programs that save energy, save customers money, and help save the environment. According to an analysis of federal data by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the wasted energy would supply a year’s worth of power to more than 600,000 homes, and would have cost California consumers almost $450 million at pre-deregulation rates.

Utilities filings required by the U.S. Department of Energy show that from 1994 to 1998, California’s 43 investor-owned and municipal utilities reduced investments in consumer energy efficiency programs by 52.3 percent. (DOE 1998.) According to figures supplied by the utilities, if the power companies had simply maintained efficiency investments at 1994 levels they would have saved 4.1 million megawatt-hours of electricity over the period. That amount is equal to more than two years of the out-of-state reserve power California must keep under contract for days when demand for electricity exceeds in-state supplies. (CEC 1999.)

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