Powering Forward: POUs are critical to California’s energy efficency progress

Publicly owned utilities (POUs) in California play a critical role in advancing energy efficiency. The 38 POUs that report electricity-savings data provide power to nearly one-quarter of the state’s population. Our analysis shows that over the past 12 years, POU energy efficiency programs—which help people use less energy while getting the same or better services—have saved customers more than $4.3 billion in total on their electric bills, providing nearly $3 in benefits for every $1 invested after accounting for the $1.6 billion cost of the programs. These programs have also avoided more than 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to eliminating the harmful pollution emitted by more than 430,000 cars in one year.1,2 However, there are still opportunities for all POUs to scale up efforts that will save even more energy and lower costs for their customers.

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