The CPUC has authorized approximately $5 billion to continue two energy related programs that benefit the state’s low income consumers.
The CPUC’s actions allow Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Gas Company to continue to offer the Energy Savings Assistance and California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) programs to their customers through 2014. Eligible CARE customers receive a 20 percent discount on their electric and natural gas bills, while the Energy Savings Assistance Program provides no-cost weatherization services to households who meet income guidelines.
Both programs are funded by ratepayers as part of a statutory public purpose program surcharge that appears on monthly utility bills. The CPUC monitors the programs to ensure that CARE continues its current and successful course of effectively providing necessary assistance to eligibl customers, and that the Energy Savings Assistance Program delivers the benefits envisioned in the California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.
Return to Top
On Aug. 22, 2012, California state agencies released the 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan to accelerate clean energy development, job creation, and protection of public health and safety.
Bioenergy is energy produced from organic waste such as agricultural, forest and urban wastes that would otherwise go into landfills or be burned. Increasing production of bioenergy in California can create thousands of new jobs, especially in rural areas that have been hit hard by the economic downturn. Bioenergy also helps to protect public health and safety by reducing the risk of wildfires and the pollution from landfills, dairies, wastewater treatment facilities, and other organic wastes.
The 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan was developed by state agencies and outside experts under the leadership of Governor Brown’s Office. The state agencies responsible for developing and implementing the plan are the Natural Resources Agency, Department of Food and Agriculture, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), CalRecycle, and the State Water Resources Control Board.
The plan contains more than 50 recommended actions to increase the sustainable use of organic waste, expand research and development of bioenergy facilities, reduce permitting and regulatory challenges, and address economic barriers to bioenergy development. The plan will help facilitate the creation of more than 4,000 jobs and help California meet its clean energy, waste reduction and climate change goals.
California currently produces about 600 megawatts of electricity and 50 to 100 million gasoline gallon equivalents from organic waste each year. Bioenergy facilities employ about 5,000 people and contribute $575 million to the California economy. By reducing the economic and regulatory barriers to bioenergy development in California, the Bioenergy Action Plan will help to nearly double these numbers.
Return to Top