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  • Writer's pictureCorey L. Wilson

How the United States Uses Energy and the California Example

Updated: Nov 28

Electricity and natural gas have been, and continue to be, the two dominant energy sources in the commercial buildings sector. Together electricity and natural gas accounted for about 93% of total energy consumed in 2012. Along with the increase in total electricity consumption, electricity increased its share of total energy consumed from 38% in 1979 to 61% in 2012.

As a result of advancements in technology, customer expectations, and state and federal policy goals, the electric power sector is evolving with increased deployment of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). In late 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) requiring Regional Transmission Operators (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to facilitate the participation of electric storage resources and aggregated DERs in competitive wholesale markets.

The California Example

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), which are defined as distribution-connected distributed generation resources, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicles, and demand response technologies, are supported by a wide-ranging suite of California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) policies.

The passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) has amplified the need for intensive energy efficiency efforts across California. The California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Draft Scoping Plan for AB 32 implementation states that while “California has a long history of success in implementing regulations and programs to encourage energy efficiency… [it] will need to greatly expand those efforts to meet our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.”

On average, 30 percent of the energy used by commercial buildings is wasted due to inefficiencies. California has taken this principle to heart and with three decades of leadership and innovation in the public and private sectors, California leads the nation, and perhaps the world, in developing and implementing successful energy efficiency efforts.

Smart Energy Saving Systems (SESS)

The latest California example is a SESS that lowers and flattens peak energy time of usage (TOU) by storing energy and releasing it as needed. These systems balance a building’s energy rate from behind-the-meter (BTM) using the lowest rates available for energy purchase and the highest rate of return for stored energy release back to the power grid.

SESS providers like MicroNOC collaborate and partner with their clients for the most effective and profitable energy saving systems. MicroNOC designs, installs, operates, and maintains and manages theirs by using Aggregated Energy Resource Solutions ™ (AECS) and Qualified Balance Resource ™ (QBR) systems.

To learn more and see how much your facility or property can save by taking advantage of an SESS, please visit CLW Enterprises at for more information and a free energy savings assessment.

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