For Immediate Release: April 11, 2018
    Media Contact: Michael Ward - 916-654-4989

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    California Energy Commission Adopts Energy Saving Standards for Spas
    Renewable energy, biofuel and electric grid research projects also approved

    SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today adopted updated energy efficiency standards for portable electric spas that could save consumers $45 million annually.

    The standards cover all categories of portable electric spas. They add between $100 to $230 to the initial cost of a unit, but will save consumers much more— totaling hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in electricity bills over the life of the spa.

    California is home to more than a million spas and thousands of new ones are sold each year. The Energy Commission estimates that the new standards will produce annual energy savings equivalent to the amount of electricity used in nearly 30,000 homes in a year. The standards take effect June 1, 2019, but dealers will still be able to sell out their current inventory.

    The Energy Commission also adopted the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) 2017 Report. The EPIC program supports research that helps the state meet its energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Last year, the program funded 72 new projects totaling more than $134 million.

    Research included scenarios to reduce the cost of meeting the state’s climate and environmental goals, developing innovative tools to help customers manage energy consumption, and increasing grid resiliency by transforming it to accept more renewable generation and distributed energy resources.

    The EPIC program also awarded the first grants through its California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development initiative, which helps entrepreneurs bring early-stage clean energy concepts to market. More than 70 clean energy companies received awards. About 32 percent of all EPIC funds for technology demonstration and deployment projects were deployed in disadvantaged communities.

    Other items approved by the Energy Commission:

    • The Sonoma Clean Power Authority received more than $9 million in grants to help adopt energy efficiency upgrades that support fire recovery efforts in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. The project was funded through the EPIC program.
    • California Bioenergy received a $3 million grant for a biomethane upgrading facility that will clean biogas from anaerobic digesters at a dairy cluster in Kern County and turn it into renewable natural gas for transportation. Funding came from the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which invests in advanced alternative and renewable fuels and vehicle technologies.
    • The City of Tulare received a $3 million 1-percent interest loan to install a solar energy system at its wastewater treatment plant. The loan will save the city more than $2 million in energy costs over the life of the equipment. The project was funded through the Energy Conservation Assistance Act program, which provides low- and no-interest loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

    More details are available in the business meeting agenda. A FAQ on the spa standards is here.

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  • About the California Energy Commission
    The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.

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    State of California, Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor