Bills Boost Thermal Energy Storage in California

California Governor Gray Davis recently signed into law three pieces of energy legislation that favor the use of thermal storage.

  • Senate Bill 1790 provides for the development of air-conditioning load control programs as part of electrical service offerings as a “means of contributing to adequacy of the electricity supply and to help customers in reducing their electric bills.”
  • Senate Bill 1976 directs the California Public Utilities Commission to report back to the governor and legislature no later than March 31, 2003, regarding real-time pricing and metering.
  • Senate Bill 1389 calls for an integrated energy policy with public interest strategies including load management and reduction of statewide greenhouse gas emissions.

A common thread in all three pieces of legislation is an emphasis on public benefits for Californians, including improved reliability of electrical supplies, reduction in overall energy costs, new job creation, and positive environmental impacts.

The moves in California were applauded by members of the Thermal Energy Storage Section of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI). “California legislation and bonds light the path forward in California and, in the view of thermal storage proponents, suggest a model for legislation in other states,” according to ARI.

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