President Clinton acts to ensure the Feds helps California meet its electricity needs

provided by The White House

n August 3, President Clinton directed all federal agencies to do their part to help California meet its electricity needs this summer. The President emphasized that, as one of the largest consumers of electricity in California (representing approximately 2% of total electricity use), the Federal Government should take steps to reduce electricity consumption and increase electricity availability. Increased demand for electricity during the summer has made it challenging for California electric utilities to meet the demand of their customers. According to estimates by the Department of Energy, implementation of the measures announced today would result in approximately a 5% reduction in electricity use by federal facilities in California, helping reduce the risk of an electricity shortage.

President Clinton directed federal agencies to take action to help the state of California reduce electricity demand:

"Managers of all Federal buildings in California should take steps to reduce consumption of power to the maximum extent practicable consistent with the health and welfare of employees; and, Federal agencies should coordinate with state and local government agencies to minimize the use of electricity in all government buildings in California."

In addition, president Clinton today directed federal agencies to take steps to help California maximize available electricity. While most of the electricity in the Western United States is generated and marketed by privately and publicly owned utilities, the Federal government also generates and markets electricity in the region. For the duration of the current power shortage, President Clinton is directing that:

"Federal agencies that generate electricity take all possible measures to maximize the amount of electricity that can be delivered to California; The Federal Power Marketing Administrations take all steps necessary to maximize the availability of electricity in California; and, Federal agencies work with the state of California to develop procedures governing the use of backup power generation in power shortage emergencies."

The President also directed federal agencies to continue to work toward the goals of Executive Order 13123, Greening the Government Through Efficient Energy Management, to help reduce federal consumption of electricity. In addition, he urged federal agencies to continue working with Congress on comprehensive electricity restructuring legislation, which can promote greater investment in generation and transmission facilities, and enhance the efficiency of the interstate transmission grid; and on other initiatives to ensure the availability of affordable and environmentally responsible energy to meet America's energy needs in the 21st century.

Today's action builds on ongoing efforts by the Department of Energy to plan for reduced use of electricity in federal facilities. The Department of Energy, and the General Services Administration, have worked closely with federal agencies to develop plans to improve energy efficiency for individual Federal facilities in support of local electricity reduction efforts. Key components of this effort include specific identification of short- and long-term electricity load reduction measures in a facility, monitoring of total facility demand, strengthened coordination with local utilities, and enhanced communications with employees about benefits of and best practices for increased energy efficiency.