Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California to adopt first energy-saving standards for computers

Seventh-graders Daniil Popov, left, and his classmate, Jacalyn Hoyt, work out a problem in their computer science class at Mills Middle School on March 18, 2016.
Seventh-graders Daniil Popov, left, and his classmate, Jacalyn Hoyt, work out a problem in their computer science class at Mills Middle School on March 18, 2016. rpench@sacbee.com

For California to meet its aggressive reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, the state is going to have find to find savings, well, just about everywhere.

That includes in computers and computer monitors, which the California Energy Commission estimates account for about 3 percent of residential electricity use and 7 percent of commercial electricity use. The commission is set to adopt the nation’s first energy efficiency standards for the appliances today.

According to the commission, its proposal should cut the electricity used by idle computers and monitors enough annually to power all of the homes in San Francisco, thereby reducing the need to generate more electricity. The regulations would take effect beginning in 2018.

Though costs could subsequently rise by up to $14 per computer, the commission estimates that consumers should save more than twice much on their utility bills over the course of five years – about $373 million statewide annually.

The California Energy Commission meets at its headquarters on 9th Street at 10 a.m.

WORTH REPEATING: “I don’t see any scenario where it’s not going to be bad.” - Frank J. Mecca, executive director of the County Welfare Directors Association of California, on the state budget impact of repealing Obamacare

FIGHTING WORDS: Though he’s usually dismissing climate change skeptics as “troglodytes,” Gov. Jerry Brown has played nice with President-elect Donald Trump on the issue thus far. Will he continue to hold back criticism now that Trump has selected as head of the Environment Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who has sued the agency repeatedly over its climate policies? We shall see when Brown addresses the American Geophysical Union’s annual fall meeting this morning in San Francisco.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: The “Defend Democracy” movement met at the Capitol Monday to read their own version of the Declaration of Independence.

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID: The California Economic Summit, an annual gathering of civic and business leaders, continues today at the Sacramento Convention Center with panels on some of the state’s most pressing issues. Two potential 2018 gubernatorial candidates – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is already running, and former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, who may – will discuss “restoring upward mobility” at 9:10 a.m. A conversation with the leaders of California’s three systems of public higher education about the need for more college degrees follows at 9:45 a.m., then former Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins joins a talk about housing at 10:30 a.m.

BY THE NUMBERS: California’s three biggest revenue sources are just under June budget projections, the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported Tuesday. From July 1 through Nov. 30, personal income tax revenue came in $574 million above budget estimates, while sales and use tax and the corporate tax came in a combined $715 million under expectations. That is a net of $141 million, or less than one percent, behind projected general fund revenue for the first five months of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

MIND YOUR Q’S & A’s: Amid declining public trust, a proliferation of fake news and the open contempt of the next president, it’s a precarious moment for the media. CNN correspondent Maria Cardona, former San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders and Los Angeles Times reporter Melanie Mason will discuss journalism in the era of Trump, 5:30 p.m. at the California Museum on O Street. The conversation is hosted by SheShares and moderated by Karen Breslau of Dewey Square Group.

FA LA LA LA LA: For a midday break, the annual Capitol holiday concert series continues with the Sacramento Valley Chorus at 11 a.m. in the rotunda, followed by the Vocal Art Ensemble at noon.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff. Jim Miller of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

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