Southern California’s Customer Technology Application Center (CTAC) represents a new wave in demand-side management for several reasons. The facility, fully one-acre in size and located just 30 miles east of Los Angeles, not only promotes energy-efficient technologies but provides industrial customers with critical services related to environmental compliance. Without CTAC, Edison may have lost several major accounts because of these customers’ inability to remain profitable while implementing costly pollution prevention technologies. CTAC has not only served to enhance Edison’s other DSM programs, and to provide customers with energy and money saving solutions, but serves as a critical economic development tool for Southern California.
The facility itself houses several "centers," each targeted for specific customer classes. Architects, builders, and contractors can visit the Home Efficiency Center to see demonstrations of energy-efficient lighting, and heating and cooling. The home demonstrates energy-efficient appliances, steel stud construction, wiring schemes, and proper insulation and duct installation, as well as an electric vehicle parked in its garage! The Commercial Technology Center features efficient technologies such as heat pumps, thermal energy storage systems, efficient HVAC systems, and commercial food technologies.
The Center’s central purpose is to bridge the gap between technology development and commercialization of efficient electric technologies which result in a beneficial air quality impact. As such, the Industrial Technology Center is perhaps CTAC’s best known, promoting advanced infrared curing technologies, for example, which reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds as regulated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. In several instances, CTAC’s role with process efficiency applications, from ultraviolet curing to infrared drying to the use of robotics, has been critical for industrial customers, literally making the difference between relocation and profitability within the region.
CTAC also contains a Lighting Design Center which showcases hundreds of advanced lighting products which customers can see in specific applications. Another center focuses exclusively on electromagnetic fields. CTAC also contains meeting rooms, an auditorium, and a resource library, each important ingredients in its overall success. By bringing these centers together, CTAC serves several important functions concurrently, providing a powerful model of a new and important utility customer service role in a dynamic utility industry.
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