The 2017 Conserve Energy SoCal campaign will kick off tonight at dusk with a special light program on the solar-powered Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. Tonight’s display will feature brilliant images and colors in the shape of the sun, lightbulbs, and fans, to remind Southern Californians to take action to conserve natural gas and electricity. Programs will run throughout the summer every other Wednesday evening through September 20.
Now in its second year, the Conserve Energy SoCal campaign promotes energy conservation during the summer months by highlighting the links between the region’s natural gas and electricity systems. The program was first introduced last summer to bring Southern Californians together to conserve energy, save money and reduce the risk of natural gas and electricity shortages.
Conserve Energy SoCal is a joint campaign by the Energy Providers of Southern California, a consortium of natural gas and electric utilities, along with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Independent System Operator (ISO) and local city governments.
The links between natural gas and electricity
About 60 percent of the electricity generated in California comes from power plants that run on natural gas. With the limited availability of natural gas from the Aliso Canyon storage facility, there is less natural gas locally to produce electricity, particularly during the high-usage periods created by hot weather. During heat waves or periods of stress on the region’s energy systems, the limited availability of locally stored natural gas could lead to power outages.
The Conserve Energy SoCal initiative, in part, supports ISO’s Flex Alert program, which ISO reported achieved an average of 500 megawatts in voluntary conservation during each of three alerts issued last summer. That equates roughly to the amount of electricity used to power about 500,000 homes.
About the campaign
This summer, Conserve Energy SoCal advertisements and promotions will encourage conservation when a Flex Alert is issued. The campaign will inform Southern Californian’s about the role natural gas plays in electricity generation and provide conservation tips throughout the summer, particularly during peak times when local natural gas shortages are more likely to impact the electric grid. Additionally, Conserve Energy SoCal will promote the benefits of conservation—like lower natural gas and electric bills for both residents and businesses.
Through public education and programming, as well as the collective efforts of all residents, businesses and agencies, the Energy Providers of Southern California aim to make 2017 another strong year for conservation.
In addition to light shows at the iconic solar-powered Pacific Wheel, the “Hot Days, Hot Deals” program will also return for a second summer. Hot Days, Hot Deals is a series of promotions and discounts offered by local businesses, designed to encourage people to get out of the house and reduce personal energy usage, by checking out some of the great retailers and attractions SoCal has to offer.