Saturday, June 15

To Share Or Not To Share? California Faces Energy Indecision Regarding Electricity

Los Angeles skyline with palm trees in the foregroundCalifornia is no doubt the United States’ biggest source of clean, sustainable energy in the country. So far the state has utilized several grids to sustain its eco-friendly agenda. But as Trump threatens the Clean Air Act of California, a major question has been posed: will California share its energy?

There are pros and cons to California sharing and expanding its decarbonized grid with nearby markets. Pros include lower prices and new methods of integrating different forms of renewable energy.

The cons, however, deal with the deregulation of the electricity market. Even though the U.S. would move toward a more sustainable future, it would become “one of the largest energy markets in the country,” according to Vox. This would push the country toward making a final decision regarding electricity regulation.

Additionally, the Trump administration is hindering California’s progress.

Through this government waiver, California has been able to cap CO2 and fuel emissions via the Clean Air Act for its citizens and businesses alike. However, the Trump administration wants to revoke the waiver and set new standards for the country in order to freeze the current emissions allowed until 2030.

California’s electricity standards are currently regulated by the state government, not the federal government. As such, California’s standards have been much higher than the rest of the country. In fact, the state is on track to hit its goal for clean, sustainable energy 10 years early.

This is reportedly due to community involvement, as well as the sustainability standards set in place by the waiver. One community, the Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), has been expanding in order to deliver “a higher percentage of renewable energy than utilities” and cause “utilities to offer a higher percentage,” according to Forbes.

These CCAs have been leading consumers to choose their policies over traditional utility markets, thus pushing industries toward more sustainable practices.

While California’s current future with sustainable energy hangs in the balance, there are still ways to improve your energy usage at home. While air conditioners suck up nearly 6% of all the energy used in the United States, simply adjusting your thermostat when you’re sleeping or not home could save you $180 annually on energy bills alone.

If you find yourself strapped for cash, you can also make other small energy-saving efforts in your home. Unplugging appliances when they’re not in use or switching to eco-friendly LED lighting can reduce energy usage by 50% across the United States.

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