CPUC Adopts Milestone Investment in Energy Efficiency To Expand Ghg Reduction and Equity Inclusion Efforts
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in a continued investment in energy efficiency as a foundational element of its energy, environmental, and social justice policies, today approved utility energy efficiency portfolios of $4.3 billion for the years 2024-2027, and a forecasted budget of an additional $4.6 billion for 2028-2031. Notably, approximately 14 percent of the budget will target programs supporting disadvantaged and underserved communities, helping to ensure equitable access to energy efficiency programs for all Californians served by CPUC-regulated entities.
Today’s action by the CPUC represents a milestone investment commitment that will continue to propel energy efficiency initiatives throughout California while also serving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create additional equity inclusion opportunities. The programs authorized by the CPUC not only save energy, but also contribute to installing energy efficiency measures in homes and businesses to improve the reliability of the electric grid and natural gas delivery throughout California. Examples of the investment and work include expanding programs to allow customers to receive a combination of energy efficiency and other home energy benefits like electrification, grid connected appliances, and energy storage simultaneously; enhancing opportunities for energy efficiency programs to leverage federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act; and directly addressing community energy efficiency needs through a Community Based Program Design Collaborative.
“Our actions continue California’s award-winning energy efficiency program that is producing real results in lowering energy use by both residential and commercial customers. Our decision today promotes the CPUC’s equity and social justice objectives by spreading the benefits of this investment across customer segments, including hard-to-reach and underserved communities,” said Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma, who is assigned to the proceeding.
“Today’s decision continues to support innovative statewide, regional, and local energy efficiency programs while expanding access to underserved customers. It promotes greater oversight and provides guidance on avoiding program overlap to maximize the benefits of these programs,” said CPUC President Alice Reynolds.
To help carry out energy efficiency work, California’s Energy Efficiency Portfolio Administrators are comprised of the four investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Gas Company); a Community Choice Aggregator (Marin Clean Energy); and five Regional Energy Networks (RENs) (Bay Area Regional Energy Network, Southern California Regional Energy Network, Inland Regional Energy Network, and Tri-County Regional Energy Network). The newest REN, Rural REN, will primarily deliver energy efficiency benefits via equity programs to underserved customers and communities in four different rural regions in central and northern California.
“Our decision continues California’s decades-long commitment to pursuing energy efficiency as the first and best choice for energy procurement. I am particularly enthusiastic about the creation of the Rural Regional Energy Network, which will fill an essential gap in delivering energy efficiency upgrades and training to rural communities across the state,” said Commissioner Darcie L. Houck.
Energy efficiency portfolios are split into four segments: 1) Resource Acquisition, focused on energy and capacity savings as well as greenhouse gas emissions reductions; 2) Market Support, focused on long-term success of the energy efficiency market and technologies; 3) Equity, focused on ensuring better access and increased opportunities to engage for underserved customers and hard-to-reach communities; and 4) Codes & Standards, focused on improving energy efficiency of buildings and products through state and federal advocacy and other programs.
The proposal voted on is available at docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M512/K638/512638943.PDF.
Documents related to the proceeding are available apps.cpuc.ca.gov/p/A2202005.
The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.