Coachella Valley Desert Lyceum Summit on Energy, Environment and
“Educating Our Community: Building for a Green Future”
Director of Energy Efficiency
Southern California Edison
Â Why Go “Green”?
Why do we believe that the future is necessarily green? Isn’t “green” just
the flavor of the moment? A marketing pitch to sell products ranging from
carpets to cars? A nice-to-do for the do-gooders on this planet?
The answer to this question (and the obvious set-up for today’s
discussion) is a resounding “NO”!
“Green” – or sustainable policies, practices, and products – is justified
from both a private interest perspective as well as a public interest
perspective. In this section of my discussion, I will argue the case that
sustainable policies, practices, and products are the foundation for a
future we can – and must – collectively create. Being an energy utility
representative, I will focus my discussion on the energy sector.
Private Interest – For consumers, the adoption of sustainable practices
and products is little more than economic common sense.
The core value of conservation is the elimination of wasteful usage … and,
if you pay an energy bill, wasted energy is wasted money. Similarly,
energy efficiency increases the productivity of energy used to eliminate
waste … This provides the consumer with better value and lower bills than
he or she otherwise would have had to pay.
But the economic benefits created do not rest only with those who practice
conservation or participate in energy efficiency programs. The system-
wide impact of conservation and energy efficiency is to reduce the amount
of energy the serving utility (such as Southern California Edison) has to
generate or procure for its customers. Since we can partner with our
customers to help them save energy at less cost than it would take to
produce or procure additional power (especially at “peak” periods when
energy demand is high and supply is less abundant)