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CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION: NEW ENERGY STANDARDS BENEFIT CONSUMERS

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Energy Commission today released the following:
 $10,000,000,000 is a big number!
 That's what one program in one state agency has saved California since the mid-70s. Because of it, Californians will reap benefits for decades to come. The California Energy Commission's energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances not only save money but make homes more comfortable places to live.
 Consumers who practice energy efficiency are finding more can be done with less! Through efficient energy use, air pollution is reduced and the need for building additional power plants lessened. From the mid-70s to the present, Commission programs have made it possible to avoid building eight 1,000-megawatt power plants in the state.
 Everyone wants a bargain and the best efficiency bargains require no sacrifices or compromise of convenience to save money. As California's energy needs increase, consumers should look for that good bargain. For instance, installing a higher efficiency heating and air conditioning unit can allow consumers to have the same level of comfort, use less energy and most importantly save money.
 Over the last 20 years, personal computers, microwaves, waterbeds and color TVs have become standard equipment in many homes. Yet energy use per household has dropped in California. Finding energy-efficient ways of "doing more with less" creates additional power supplies while saving money too!
 Created in 1975, the California Energy Commission was given authority to develop and update energy efficiency standards for new construction. These standards set minimum efficiency requirements.
 "The energy-efficient homes being built in California not only benefit the consumer's pocketbook but the environment as well," said Charles R. Imbrecht, Energy Commission chairman.
 "Since the inception of the state's energy standards, many other states, the federal government and other countries throughout the world have traveled to California to see firsthand what the state is accomplishing. We are in the forefront of energy and environmental planning.
 "Benefits now accruing in California are only on the drawing boards of many other states. The monetary benefit alone is sizable -- from today through the year 2011, California will save more than $40 billion because of the building and appliance standards," Imbrecht said.
 The standards are developed in an open public process, with projected costs and benefits evaluated by staff and presented for comment. Representatives from the building industry, environmental groups, building departments and others participate in workshops. The dozens of public workshops and hearings held for consumer review are far from the image of "ivory-tower" regulation development often attributed to government.
 The most recent standards revision became effective Jan. 1, 1993. The residential standards were improved by:
 -- Allowing builders and other consumers to easily compare the energy efficiency and thermal performance of window products by establishing standardized testing and labeling procedures.
 -- Increasing the water-heating allowance with the size of the home to better serve larger household needs.
 -- Reducing the amount of documentation needed for the construction of small additions.
 The commercial or nonresidential standards were improved by:
 -- Increasing ventilation requirements to improve indoor air quality.
 -- Working closely with the hotel industry and others to establish a uniform energy standard for commercial building types.
 For more information on the energy-efficiency standards for buildings and appliances, call the toll-free California Energy Commission Hotline at 800-772-3300, or 916-654-5106.
 NOTE: To receive a free illustrated brochure of simple home energy- saving tips, call 916-654-4989.
 -0- 2/19/93
 /CONTACT: Claudia Chandler, assistant executive director of the California Energy Commission, 916-654-4989/


CO: California Energy Commission ST: California IN: SU:

SG-GT -- SF001 -- 8338 02/19/93 11:01 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1993
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