The Environmental Defense Fund is playing a key role in shaping the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) guidelines, which the state’s three investor-owned utilities are required to use in designing and deploying their smart grids.
With 20 million customers among them, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) are the largest utilities in California. Plans are due to the CPUC by July 1st and EDF will score them in mid-to-late July.
In addition ’ EDF worked with SDG&E on its plan to ensure that its smart grid empowers customers to save energy and money; enables integration of large- and small-scale renewable energy projects to meet the state’s 33 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard and distributed generation goals; and incentivizes electric vehicles to charge when electricity is cheaper and cleaner. EDF will also work to score all three utilities’ plans so that the best elements are adopted.
Miriam Horn, director of EDF’s smart grid initiative, explains, “Since these public utilities are investing millions of their ratepayers’ dollars in the smart grid and need to get so many things right, EDF developed this framework to help California’s smart grid deliver on its promises. It also identifies concrete steps these utilities can take to reach those goals.”
Tim O’Connor, an attorney and climate change analyst at EDF, says, “This is a brand new effort by the utilities with ratepayers footing the bill. We want to make sure plans deliver solid returns on those investments. This tool will make it easy to show which utilities made the grade.”
EDF is working on multiple smart grid projects across the country, including the Pecan Street Project, in Austin, Texas,