The regulators of California’s largest electric utilities will hold a forum next week on the future of those businesses, and while a discussion of utility “business models” might not seem like the most electrifying topic, the direction they take will...continued→
Devra Wang, Director, California Energy Program, San Francisco
I grew up in a large family that values understanding what life is like for people around the world and doing what we can to help make life better for people. I was fortunate to travel to India and China when I was young. As a ten-year old accustomed to the high standard of living in the U.S., those trips were eye-opening for me. Surrounded by people who barely have a roof over their heads, who cook over wood or dung fires, and who live without electricity, running water or sanitary sewage systems made me ask questions about my daily life like “how does the light turn on when I flip the switch?” It made me appreciate the “basic” services that most Americans take for granted, and sparked my interest in ensuring everyone has access to affordable energy services and other critical resources.
I studied bioengineering at UC Berkeley, focusing on electronics used in medical applications. While I am still fascinated by the technical marvels we can create to understand the human body, I decided that I could help more people by working on preventing the root causes of health problems rather than building machines that could diagnose health problems after they have already occurred. I pursued this interest in UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources master’s program.
At NRDC, my work focuses on reducing the environmental impact of our energy consumption by promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and other sustainable energy policies. I have been fortunate to work on several of California’s groundbreaking sustainable energy policies, including the launch of the most aggressive energy efficiency program in the history of the utility industry, and the enactment and implementation of the state’s landmark law to limit the state’s global warming pollution (AB 32).
I am passionate about helping California and other states take advantage of the enormous benefits of energy efficiency and sustainable energy, and creating a policy model for the nation and other countries that can enable every person on the planet to have access to affordable energy services.
A new report out this week from the National Governors Association, An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors, highlights just how effective many of our country’s governors have been in moving forward a clean energy agenda that benefits everyone. While our...continued→
California utility regulators unanimously approved an incentive mechanism today to reward electric and natural gas utilities when they help customers upgrade their homes and businesses to be more energy efficient. That’s good news for all of us who want to...continued→
California’s 40 years of remarkable success in using energy efficiency to avoid dirty power generation and save utility customers billions, as detailed in a new NRDC fact sheet released today, offers valuable lessons to help meet President Obama’s groundbreaking climate...continued→
Note: Southern California Edison announced today (6/7/2013) that it is permanently closing the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station but as I recently noted, the plant’s absence has not affected reliable electric service in California. The state’s electric system is very...continued→
A new bipartisan report citing energy efficiency’s continuing and huge potential as a major U.S. resource underscores once again that saving energy need not be a political issue, which Californians well know after enjoying enormous economic and environmental benefits thanks...continued→
The California Public Utilities Commission this week unanimously voted to look first to energy efficiency and other clean energy resources to meet electric needs in Southern California. As a result, the CPUC reduced its authorization of new fossil generation by...continued→
Just days after a California Senate committee hearing on how well the state is using energy efficiency to avoid new power plants, two Public Utilities Commission votes scheduled for Wednesday could signal whether the state continues on the clean energy...continued→
California has a long and rightfully proud history of using energy efficiency to avoid the need for expensive new power plants that pollute our air. In fact, energy efficiency is now the second largest resource for meeting the state’s electric...continued→
In good news for California’s efforts to cut utility bills and pollution, the Public Utilities Commission today voted to reward the state’s largest electric and natural gas utilities for their successful 2010-2012 energy efficiency programs. State policy calls for efficiency...continued→
Today marks the launch of California’s cap and trade program, a critical part of the state’s landmark clean energy and climate law, AB 32. This is a big step forward for California, and it is the latest in a...continued→
Energy efficiency is the cheapest and cleanest way to meet our energy needs. Yet, the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the state’s largest utilities, currently only provides utilities with profits for investing in dirtier and costlier alternatives like power...continued→
At a California Senate oversight hearing yesterday called by Senator Pavley, a joint author of the state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), Air Resources Board Chairman Nichols reaffirmed her agency’s commitment to proceed with implementation of a robust...continued→
Over the past decade, the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the state's investor-owned utilities, has emerged as a leader on policies that provide significant environmental and economic benefits. Governor Brown recently announced two of his three new appointees to...continued→
CPUC Awards Final Incentive for Success of 2006-08 Energy Efficiency Programs; Improving The Mechanism For Following Years Should Now Be Urgent Priority
Earlier today, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved about $68 million in additional incentives to reward the state’s investor-owned utilities for their success in helping customers lower their bills through energy efficiency from 2006-2008. As I blogged about in...continued→
Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.