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SCE Proposes Providing Energy-Saving Compact Fluorescent Bulbs to 1 Million Low-Income Homes

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Southern California Edison (SCE) will ask state regulators for authorization to provide 1 million low-income households with a complimentary set of six compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) to help families reduce lighting costs.

"Achieving California's groundbreaking greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals will require big, bold energy initiatives and strong partnerships between the state, its utilities, and residential and business customers," said Michael R. Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.  "We look forward to reviewing this creative proposal by Edison for just such a partnership."

"This initiative is part of our company's continuing commitment to industry leadership in promoting customer energy-efficiency, purchasing renewable energy, and supporting the emergence of plug-in hybrid technology," said John E. Bryson, SCE chairman.  "We believe our strategies lead the way for our industry, offering significant promise for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

If approved, SCE would distribute the CFLs with the help of a broad network of community-based organizations that work with the utility to deliver SCE's energy-efficiency services and promote the utility's low-income energy-discount program.  SCE proposes using these community-based organizations, along with others, to identify families that qualify for the million-home initiative, distributing the new bulbs door to door along with a packet of educational information on other ways homeowners can save energy and money.

SCE will propose that the estimated $22 million cost of this program be funded by an increase in the Public Goods Charge component of customers' rates.  If approved, the program would result in a slight rate increase.

Anticipated program benefits:

- The bulbs require only a third of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs and last 10 times as long;

- An average household receiving the bulbs will save up to $72 per year;

- The program will save California 278 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of generation, enough to power more than 35,000 homes;

- Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by as much as 155,400 tons, equivalent to taking nearly 30,000 cars off the road; and

- Power demand, the amount of electricity the state needs to generate at any point in time, will be reduced by about 24,400 kilowatts.

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