AGOURA HILLS, CA — Rapidly rising electricity bills are, apparently, prompting more and more Californians to conserve electricity.

According to the second in a series of special reports by J.D. Power and Associates on California’s energy crisis, 83% of Californians indicated that they have taken steps to conserve electricity to help reduce the potential of rolling blackouts.

The special report, which was released on July 12, indicates that Californians in 2000 were paying an average $75 a month for electricity and that in 2001, their bills have gone up 36% to a current average of $102 a month.

And, it appears, more rate increases are anticipated. Almost three-quarters of respondents said they expect to pay 40% more on their electric bills next year than they are currently paying. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of those taking steps to conserve electricity have reduced use of indoor lights, and almost one-half have reduced use of outdoor lighting. Four out of 10 indicated that they have limited their use of heating or air conditioning, while 34% of those taking steps to conserve electricity have unplugged extra TVs and refrigerators.

“Californians have a balanced and rational perspective on how to get out of this energy crisis,” said Al Destribats, executive director of the utilities practice at J.D. Power and Associates.



IF YOU HAD $10 …

AGOURA HILLS, CA — Rapidly rising electricity bills are, apparently, prompting more and more Californians to conserve electricity.

According to the second in a series of special reports by J.D. Power and Associates on California’s energy crisis, 83% of Californians indicated that they have taken steps to conserve electricity to help reduce the potential of rolling blackouts.

The special report, which was released on July 12, indicates that Californians in 2000 were paying an average $75 a month for electricity and that in 2001, their bills have gone up 36% to a current average of $102 a month.

And, it appears, more rate increases are anticipated. Almost three-quarters of respondents said they expect to pay 40% more on their electric bills next year than they are currently paying. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of those taking steps to conserve electricity have reduced use of indoor lights, and almost one-half have reduced use of outdoor lighting. Four out of 10 indicated that they have limited their use of heating or air conditioning, while 34% of those taking steps to conserve electricity have unplugged extra TVs and refrigerators.

“Californians have a balanced and rational perspective on how to get out of this energy crisis,” said Al Destribats, executive director of the utilities practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

IF YOU HAD $10 … Fifty-seven percent of Californians support building more power plants, and they are willing to pay for it. When asked how they would allocate their portion if the state taxed every resident $10.00 to avoid future power problems, Californians responded that they would invest $5.14 to build more power plants, $2.80 to encourage energy conservation, and $2.01 to reduce electric rates.

Californians also realize that it will take some time to recover from their power situation, with respondents now saying it will take nearly four years, on average, to resolve the crisis, up from their estimate of 2.5 years when Californians were interviewed for the first J.D. Power and Associates energy crisis study in January 2001. “Consumers in California know what they want,” said Destribats. “The remaining question is: Who is going to step up and make it happen for them?”

According to J.D. Powers, its special report is based on 1,500 telephone interviews conducted statewide between March and May 2001 among California residential utility customers. The margin of error is plus or minus 3%. The purpose of the report is to provide the utility industry with customer feedback on perceptions and trends related to the California energy shortage. For more information, visit J.D. Power and Associates’ website, www.jdpa.com.

Publication date: 07/16/2001