Southern California Edison, Low Income Relamping (residential), Profile #2


Southern California Edison (SCE) is unquestionably a national DSM leader. SCE has spent nearly a billion dollars on DSM since 1973. Its Low-Income Relamping Program is the oldest program of its kind operating today. SCE has cultivated a unique, synergistic relationship with community-based organizations (CBOs) to market and deliver the program. The CBOs provide a variety of social services to specific portions of the low-income community. For instance, the Maravilla Foundation specifically serves the Latin American community. These organizations are uniquely suited to provide energy services and education, as well.

SCE has had difficulty using traditional DSM approches and utility personnel to provide assistance services to its low-income customers. Many of these customers are recent immigrants to the United States, who often tend to be distrustful of governments and large institutions such as the utility. By paying the full costs of the compact fluorescent lamps and using the CBOs to interact with the customers, SCE can provide services to these customers in a nonthreatening manner. This relationship also provides SCE with a cost-effective means for fulfilling its PUC-mandated obligation to provide assistance to low-income customers. The CBOs benefit by earning much needed funds which aid in the operation of their organizations.

Although the general quality of data obtained from SCE is good, two shortfalls exist. First are concerns regarding the calculation of energy savings and in particular duty factors, persistence, etc. The other shortfall exists in quantifying the administrative costs of the program. The relamping effort is a sub-program of the larger Customer Assistance Program (CAP) for which cost data are not separated among the sub-programs.

To date, Southern California Edison has installed over 1.3 million compact fluorescent lamps through this program. These lamps have resulted in energy savings of 121 GWh and peak capacity savings of 14 MW, since the program's inception in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, the program has cost a total of $23.5 million. In the 1991 program year, the program saved 3 MW while providing over 5 lamps per home at an average cost per participant of $75.


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