|Home · Event Calendar · Getting Here · Contact Us|
Demand Response 101: Shedding Energy When Needed this Summer
Optimizing Steam System Performance
WI$E ENERGY Conservation Series
Location: Jewish Family Service
College Avenue Senior Center, San Diego
New California Department of Energy proposed
Border Energy Savings Program
Low interest rate energy loans
New hires and promotions
SDREO also congratulates Ben Airth on his recent promotion to Associate Program Manager. Ben manages the Rebuild a Greener San Diego Self-Gen program and provides support to the statewide Self-Generation Incentive program.
At the West Coast EMC
Window films can be added to existing glazing as a solar-control retrofit to reduce glare and heat, improve occupant comfort, and increase energy efficiency. In their simplest form, window films are composed of a polyester substrate with a scratch-resistant coating on one side, and applied to the other side is a mounting adhesive layer and a protective release liner. When the release liner is removed, the adhesive side is applied to the interior surface of the glass.
Newer high-performance products are available with spectrally-selective coatings, which offer high clarity and visible light transmittance, making them ideal for daylighting applications. The low interior reflectivity of these coatings also prevents occupants from experiencing the "mirror-effect" when attempting to look through the glazing at night. For a refresher on glazing performance attributes, see the Feb. 2004 Tech Tip.
All window films typically offer:
Metallized/solar control window films can provide:
“Imagine two fundamentally different builders. One knows the code as a set of minimum standards for recognized designs, and builds to those minimums. The other is always looking to create the most resource and energy-efficient, least toxic building he or she can. Which one typically has the easiest time getting plans approved? Clearly, no one intends to reward the lowest quality buildings legally possible while penalizing builders who push the upper limits, but this is typically the outcome.”
-- David Eisenberg, Director, Development Center for Appropriate Technology
Energy Connection is a monthly publication of the San Diego Regional Energy Office.
To provide SDREO supporters with a more diverse picture on energy-related issues, SDREO is introducing “Opinions,” a new quarterly section that invites industry experts to voice their opinions on various energy issues affecting the San Diego region. The views and opinions expressed in the following article do not necessarily represent those of SDREO.
De-MYTH-stifying San Diego's High Gas Prices
|Inside the San Diego Energy Resource Center|
Name: Turbocor TT300 Energy Efficient Compressor
Name: Kill A Watt™
New Technologies for Energy Efficiency, published by The Fairmont Press and written by Michael Hordeski, is a guide to tools and technologies addressing efficiency, which includes understanding the role of computer technology in reducing operating costs, and developing more innovative and practical approaches to energy management and power supply options.
Scientific American was founded over 150 years ago and is published monthly by Scientific American, Inc. The publication identifies and delivers the latest developments in science and technology across a broad range of fields, such as biotechnology, information science, and energy and the environment.
Name: Blue Vinyl
NOTE: Books, periodicals and videos can also be checked out free of charge. Please call toll-free: 1-866-SDENERGY for more information.
- TOP -
|Energy Policies, Regulations & Legislative Updates|
CPUC regulatory activity includes:
SDG&E Rate Design Window (R.05-02-019): SDG&E filed its Rate Design Window (RDW) application on February 18, 2005. This filing seeks authority to change current rate designs effective January 1, 2006. The Commission released a Scoping Memo (doc) for the proceeding on April 27, 2005. Interested parties can serve testimony on June 24, 2005. Hearings will be held in San Diego July 18-22 at State Office Building, 1350 Front Street, Room B-107.
Energy-efficiency policies, administration, and programs (R.01-08-028): SDG&E submitted its proposed portfolio of 2006-2008 energy-efficiency programs with the CPUC by 6/1/05 based on the recommendations of its Program Advisory Group (PAG). A solicitation for energy-saving programs managed by non-utility administrators will follow.
State Legislative Activity:
Bills must pass their house of origin (Senate or Assembly) by June 3 to have possibility of becoming law this year. Otherwise they will have an opportunity in 2006. There are a number of bills that are important to the San Diego region, including:
SB1 (Murray): The governor's solar initiative was last amended 5/16/05 and passed out of Senate Appropriations Committee. It must be passed out of Senate and reach Assembly on or before June 3 to have a chance to become law. This bill would establish the Million Solar Roofs Initiative with goals of placing 1 million solar energy systems on new and existing residential and commercial customer sites (or 3,000 MW equivalent), establish a self-sufficient solar industry in 10 years, and place solar energy systems on 50% of new home developments in 13 years. It also contains statewide Net Metering language.
- TOP -
MYTH: "When oil costs more, gas always costs more."
Not necessarily true. Although it is not unusual for California motorists to see sharp price hikes just days after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raises its prices, there is little relationship between the two. It takes 90 to 120 days to drill, transport and refine crude oil into gasoline. Plus, more than 90% of California’s gasoline comes from West Coast drilling operations. As a result, OPEC has little impact on the real production cost of California gasoline.
MYTH: "Consumers are being gouged by retailers."
Not true. For most San Diego retailers, the average profit margin on a gallon of gas is between 5-15 cents per gallon. Because oil companies dictate the price that its branded dealers can charge, the retailers have little say – and little opportunity – to gouge its customers.
MYTH: "The free market sets prices in my city."
Not true. UCAN has been tracking gasoline prices since 1998 and our data suggest that the market is neither free nor competitive. Unlike most commodities, the price of the same brand and grade of gasoline can be as much as 25 cents per gallon higher, depending on the location of the station. This is because oil companies price their gas using "zones." A Unocal dealer across the street from another Unocal dealer can be forced to pay 10 cents more per gallon because he is in a different "zone." Oil companies claim that zone pricing allows them to be more competitive. In reality, it allows them to arbitrarily drive dealers out of business by charging higher fuel prices, and artificially control and inflate the price of gasoline.
MYTH: "Locally-owned gas stations cause high prices."
Not true. After eight years of investigating retail street prices, UCAN has conclusively documented that in areas where there are no independent, locally-owned gas stations, the prices can be as much as 20 cents higher per gallon.
MYTH: "Regulators caused the high gas prices."
True. The Federal Trade Commission has allowed merger after merger, believing oil industry claims that by making Big Oil bigger, it would increase competition. As a result, 90% of California’s gasoline supply is controlled by only five oil companies. UCAN’s preliminary research suggests that the recent merger of British Petroleum and Arco may have served to make Arco less competitive.
MYTH: "Pollution-fighting fuels have forced prices up."
Not exactly true. California is notorious for having expensive pollution-fighting fuel blends. The California Energy Commission estimated that this unique fuel blend adds 8-14 cents a gallon to the price of fuel. At this time, the primary pollution-fighting additive used in California’s gasoline is refined ethanol, which actually costs less than gasoline. UCAN is unable to conclude that fuel blends are the key driver behind higher gas prices.
MYTH: "There is plenty of competition… just look at all the different brands of gas!"
Not true. On the surface, the San Diego market looks competitive. After all, there are dozens of different brands with different prices. The truth is a different story. All Shell and Texaco stations are owned by the same holding company, Equilon. TOSCO, another holding company, sets prices for all of the Union, Unocal, 76 and Circle K gas stations in San Diego. Exxon and Mobil merged recently, and every Thrifty station is owned and supplied by Arco/British Petroleum. UCAN’s statistics show that price competition in San Diego has waned as a result of market consolidation.
MYTH: "There’s really nothing that California can do to fix the problem."
Not true. UCAN has made the following recommendations to the state government regarding California’s high gas prices: the suspension of the sale of 89 octane gasoline in California to free up storage; the required disclosure of quarterly profit margins by gasoline refineries and oil companies with retail operations in California; the re-introduction of legislation that will allow independently-operated franchises to purchase gasoline from multiple sources at competitive prices.
To date, none of UCAN’s recommendations have been adopted by the state. Governor Schwarzenegger claims that he will make specific recommendations to deal with the gasoline price issues later in 2005. Meanwhile, motorists pay and pay and pay... with little relief in sight.
- TOP -
Kids Korner delivers engaging and informative “energy edu-tainment” via the web. Using colorful animations, playful graphics, interactive games, puzzles, science experiments, house projects and online coloring books, the site explores everything from power generation sources, transmission and distribution to electrical safety, energy efficiency and a home energy survey.
For example, using the Kids Korner lighting or appliance calculator features, kids can easily compute how many of their favorite toys or games can be purchased for the amount of money saved by converting incandescent lamps to compact fluorescents or by changing their appliance use. Over 100 pages of content are presented online with Kids Korner.
"Kids Korner makes learning about energy fun, which encourages children to want to learn more," says Stephen Kapp, SDREO's program manager for the San Diego Energy Resource Center. "Some of the content is quite in-depth, such as the how fuel cells work animation sequence. This makes the site an excellent resource not only for kids, but for adults as well. You can learn about energy together and discover ways to conserve."
Children are the energy decision-makers of tomorrow, and the site is an effective, yet fun tool to teach kids about the different sources of energy and how to use energy wisely.
- TOP -
Businesses participating in the B.E.S.T. Program receive the following:
- A no-cost facility assessment conducted by a B.E.S.T. Program inspector or contractor to identify potential energy-saving equipment opportunities
- A detailed proposal that includes a list of recommendations, estimates of energy savings, project cost, payback period, and the rebate amount to be paid by the B.E.S.T. Program
- Installation of the approved energy-saving equipment by a pre-qualified contractor
- Pre- and post-installation inspections to assure quality and verify energy savings
- Minimum hassle or time required of participating businesses
- Energy bill cost reductions
Eligible equipment includes indoor and outdoor lighting, heating and AC system controls, refrigeration, window film, and other proven technologies. The program pays for all professional services and up to 100% of the total project cost! Businesses and public agencies must be non-residential SDG&E electric customers and not on Schedule A.
For more information or to participate in the program, contact B.E.S.T. Program Manager, Dave Gordon, by calling (858) 244-1183 or by filling out a contact form.
- TOP -
Copyright 2004-2005, San Diego Regional Energy Office