Powering Strong Communities

California Energy Commission Approves Goal of Making up to 7,000 MW Load Flexibility Goal

The California Energy Commission on May 31 approved a new goal to make up to 7,000 megawatts of electricity available through the smarter use of existing clean energy resources.

The target represents a doubling of current levels.

Required by Senate Bill 846, the load shifting or load flexibility goal refers to a suite of efforts that offer incentives to customers to shift their electricity use to times of the day when it’s cheapest and cleanest.

This includes programs like time-of-use rates that price electricity to encourage optimal use, and demand response programs that allow customers to earn money by reducing use on an ongoing basis when demand is high and during emergencies when the grid is strained.

The 7,000 MW goal complements the 38,000 MW of new clean electricity resources the state projects to need by 2030.

It was developed in consultation with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Independent System Operator for a report based on research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report also discusses the current landscape of flexible demand in California and details policy recommendations to help achieve the new goal.

The work builds on updated standards the CEC adopted last year to help customers take better advantage of utilities’ lower time-dependent rates so smart appliances and buildings can automatically respond to rates that reflect electricity grid conditions.