California's successes in energy efficiency have not been a seamless and unfettered process. Linking supply and demand, de-coupling, and tying profits to energy efficiency investments are all California "innovations."
The US, China, India, and the rest of the world are learning from these policy strategies.
Are they learning the right lessons? Is the "Golden Age" of energy efficiency behind or upon us?
What challenges are ahead? Thirty years ago we made a "right-hand turn," flat-lining California's per capita energy use.
Can we do it again, dramatically reducing our energy consumption to address climate change?
Will economic factors propel or destroy our momentum? And, will the nation and the world follow California’s lead?
Ralph Cavanagh is a senior attorney and co-director of NRDC's energy program, which he joined in 1979. In addition, Ralph has been a Lecturer on Law at Harvard and a Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford and UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall), and from 1993-2003 he served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board. His current board memberships include the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the California Clean Energy Fund, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, the Renewable Northwest Project, the Northwest Energy Coalition, and the Sustainable Energy Advisory Board of Texas-based Energy Future Holdings. Ralph has received the Heinz Award for Public Policy, the Yale Law School's Preiskel-Silverman Fellowship, the Lifetime Achievement in Energy Efficiency Award from California's Flex Your Power Campaign, the Headwaters Award from the Northwest Energy Coalition, and the Bonneville Power Administration's Award for Exceptional Public Service. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Yale Law School. He is married to Deborah Rhode, who is the MacFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.
Alan Meier is Associate Director and a Faculty Researcher with the EEC. He teaches core energy efficiency courses for the EEC and supervises graduate student activities.
Dr. Meier is also a Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Michael Peevey was appointed President of the California Public Utilities Commission by Governor Gray Davis in 2002, a position he continues to hold today. From 1995 until 2000, he served as President of NewEnergy Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Peevey was President of Edison International and Southern California Edison Company, and a senior executive there beginning in 1984. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the California Clean Energy Fund.