SCE to Deliver More Renewable Energy to Mitigate Rising Costs
By Liz Gonzalez
Pictures By Anwar Khawaja
With the rising summer temperatures, Southern California Edison is working to deliver more renewable energy and help customers mitigate rising costs. Ethnic media from the Orange County area came together at the offices of the Vietnamese newspaper, Ngui Viet, in Westminster to learn from Southern California Edison how our relationship as consumers to energy is transforming.
As the state moves to comply with the California Renewable Energy Resources Act recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown that requires all California electricity providers to obtain at least 33% of their energy from renewable resources by 2020, SCE has stayed ahead of the curve. “SCE buys more renewable power than any other company in the US, everyone else is a distant second,” said Russell Worden, SCE Director of the General Rate Case.
Every three years SCE presents a General Rate Case (GRC), a periodic review before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). As a regulated business, this process of the GRC determines not only how much it will cost SCE to serve customers and implement state polices, but also how much it needs to charge customers.
“ California has made a good commitment to renewable power, but it comes at a price – that technology is more expensive,” explained Worden.
In its 125 th year, SCE is now serving the energy needs of nearly 14 million people in 15 counties of Central, Coastal and Southern California. Most of its infrastructure was built shortly after WWII and is in need of replacements and upgrades to create a smarter energy grid with more energy coming from renewable sources.
As the ideal places to set up renewable power sources are located in remote areas because of the large amounts of land space needed, the complete infrastructure, including constructing new electrical utility poles and placing thousands of miles of wiring to connect these new locations, has to be built. This new dynamic link system will allow SCE to keep the service reliable by monitoring its multiple sites remotely, helping them foresee possible failures to the system and respond quickly to power outages.
The actual expected increase to an average monthly bill for a single home will be from $3.00 to $9.00 starting in January 2012. SCE has several residential and business programs and tips to help customers keep their monthly bill low. SCE’s rebate programs help customers invest in Energy Star qualified appliances and will also pay $50 to customers who allow SCE to pick up old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers to recycle them properly. There are also incentives up to $4,000 to customers who complete qualifying energy saving home upgrade projects.
For income-qualified customers, SCE also offers energy education to help customers understand how disconnecting electronics when not in use and washing full loads of laundry and dishes at night can help them save energy and money. SCE also offers energy-efficient lighting, energy-efficient appliances and discounts.
Just as SCE will now be able to better monitor energy use, so can individuals through the use of the smart meter. The smart meter allows you to see when and how much energy you are using. With advanced appliances, the smart meter will be able to track when you are using what appliances in your home.
“This will change the customers relationship with energy,” said Rutely Conde, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications with SCE. “People are not used to thinking about their energy consumption. When they know how much they are using it will allow them to change their behavior and take action,” she added. Currently, SCE has installed about half of all the smart meters to their customers in Orange County.
For more information about the GRC please visit www.sce.com/2012plan
and for more information about programs to help you save money on your monthly bills visit www.sce.com/rebatesandsavings