SCE Interview on Climate Goals & Building a Sustainable Society at the Net Zero 2017 Conference
By Sofia Siegel
With just two weeks until Verdical Group’s Net Zero 2017 Conference, we’re highlighting the participation of Southern California Edison (SCE) in this year’s 4th annual event. The conference will gather 600+ attendees and 45+ exhibitors in Los Angeles on August 24, 2017 at the IBEW-NECA Net Zero Plus facility. Read our interview with SCE below that highlights their focus on climate goals and building a sustainable society as a primary provider of energy in SoCal and as one of the largest utilities in the country.
VG: Why did Southern California Edison decide to participate as the Premier Sponsor this year?
SCE: California is pushing harder than ever on climate action goals. Southern California Edison (SCE) is excited to have the opportunity to act as a catalyst for this move to a low carbon and prosperous economy that the people of California want. Sponsoring the Net Zero Conference is one clear way for us to do this. The Net Zero Conference has proven to be a local hotbed of lively industry collaboration, dedicated to climate action in the building industry.
VG: What makes this conference special, and worth supporting year after year?
SCE: We have witnessed our customers’ growing interest in Net Zero buildings, and consequently the nearly doubling of attendance at this conference, year after year. Companies across the country are making the switch to renewable energy, upgrading their factories and office buildings to be energy efficient, and saving money at the same time. We have a huge opportunity to help revolutionize the way we think about energy. But it will take collaboration. It will require working with other industry leaders and with our communities. This conference is all about bringing that community, bringing those leaders, together.
VG: Where does Southern California Edison see itself in the Net Zero Future? How is Southern California Edison’s role unique, compared to other Utilities?
SCE: SCE has the unique role of helping customers reconcile nation leading climate action goals with everyday needs. Certainly, this occurs through the network of poles and wires, but it also occurs through a robust portfolio of energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed energy programs. With SCE’s earnings decoupled from electricity sales, we have a rich history of helping customers save money on their energy bills, install solar on their homes and their businesses, and electrify their transportation. SCE is not only fortunate to have a customer base and state regulatory framework that is strongly supportive of ZNE, but is also leading other utilities with a vision for a clean energy economy.
VG: What does Net Zero Energy mean to Southern California Edison?
SCE: Among many other things, we see Net Zero Energy as an essential part of the state’s overall greenhouse gas reduction objectives. It’s a messaging vehicle to drive a transition to a clean energy economy. It’s a way to get the building industry excited about this shift, and a seemingly effective one. ZNE also poses an opportunity and challenge to modernize the grid to accommodate SCE’s customers distributed energy resources including PV generation, energy storage, and electric vehicles.
VG: What do you wish people knew about Southern California Edison (broad, or NZE related)?
SCE: SCE is cleaning the power system by accelerating the use of renewables and energy storage, but the electricity sector accounts for just 20% of the State’s greenhouse gas emissions. We need to play a bigger role: Our goal is to be a key enabler of the rapid, efficient electrification of transportation and buildings to help these sectors reduce their emissions, too. We are working with our customers to help them make smart, cleaner energy choices.
VG: What is Southern California Edison’s role in the Net Zero Future short term? Long term?
SCE: The people of California want an increasingly greener supply of energy so that we can become a sustainable society and we can reduce the impacts of global warming. They would like us to create a power system that can integrate a lot of renewable resources. So at Edison, we’re no longer talking about the future, we’re living it. We’re innovating all things energy. We’re looking forward for our customers, by using more renewable energy, by modernizing the electric grid, by administering nation-leading efficiency programs, by building the plug and play electric grid that customer’s want. We are the foundation for energy progress. We are energy for what’s ahead.