Governor Gray Davis has signed an Executive Order leading to the renewal of a popular “20/20” energy conservation program that will allow customers of the state’s three largest utilities to cut 20 percent off their electricity bills this summer and fall.SACRAMENTO, California – June 3, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “California’s energy challenge is not over,” said Davis. “The energy market is not yet stabilized, the West’s growth is putting more strain on our regional power grid, and there’s always the chance it will be an unusually hot summer. We need to continue to be vigilant. The 20/20 program provides a powerful financial incentive to Californians to continue their record-setting conservation.” Last year, Davis created the “20/20 program” by Executive Order. The program is widely credited for helping achieve 2,600 MW of peak demand savings during the June to September 2001 critical summer peak consumption months. Some 34 percent of the state’s eligible residential customers and 30 percent of non-residential customers participated in the program last summer. This year’s program will be different in two ways from last year’s effort. Only residential customers will be eligible for the rebates this year; last year, industrial and commercial users also were eligible. Last year, the program ran from June 1 through September 30th; this year’s program will run from July 1 through October 31st. To be eligible for credits, customers of both Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric will have to use 20 percent less electricity than they did from July to October 2000. San Diego Gas and Electric customers will need to save 15 percent from their July to October 2000 usage. Because of the extraordinary conservation efforts by Californians last year, summer 2000 usage rather than summer 2001 usage, is the benchmark. The Public Utilties Commission is expected to vote on the continuation of the program at its June 6th meeting. Last month, Gov. Davis announced that the award-winning “Flex Your Power” campaign would continue through the summer backed by $35 million in paid advertising. He also kicked off a new program with more than 1,100 retailers to promote the purchase of energy efficient lighting, appliances, and equipment. A number of other programs for commercial and industrial users also are underway.