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Advocacy Update September 2018

Legislation:

This has been a banner month for legislation supporting a clean energy future and electrification. Governor Jerry Brown made history this month by signing SB 100 into law. This makes California the first state to establish a goal of a 100 percent carbon-free electrical grid.

SB 100 requires California to use 100 percent carbon-free sources for electricity by 2045. This far exceeds the previous goal set by SB 350 of 50 percent by 2030. There are actually three parts to SB 100.
1) 50 percent renewables by 2026  
2) 60 percent renewables by 2030  
3) 100 percent from carbon-free resources by 2045.

An important distinction is the first two goals to address are renewables and the last is carbon-free. This a very ambitious policy move that many industry experts feel may not be attainable. Nonetheless, this sends a clear message that California is all-in on reducing emissions and a clean energy future.

Two other important bills received Governor Brown’s signature:
SB 1477 (Stern) This bill has also received Governor Brown’s signature. This allows $50m of cap and trade funds to be used for incentives. This bill creates 2 incentive programs:
1) Near zero-emissions buildings
2) Market transformation for near-zero emissions technology.
This is important as it provides funding to build a zero-net-energy (ZNE) future.

AB 3232 (Friedman) Reduce GHG from residential and commercial buildings to 40% less than 1990 levels by 2030. Buildings use more energy than the transportations sector. We now have targets for reducing their impact on our climate. Electric cars are great, now we need all electric buildings too. This legislation was also signed by Governor Brown. 

Program News:

Last week Build It Green and PG&E announced major changes to PG&E’s Advanced Home Upgrade Program. Recent analysis has shown that the energy modeling software predictions are not proving true in the real world. In fact, the models are doing a very poor job with actual savings with an actual saving of 21 percent of predicted on electric and 29 percent of predicted on gas. As rebate amounts are determined by the software models it’s no surprise that PG&E has to make changes to the amount of the rebates. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to guess what will happen to the program if the savings rate payers are funding are less than half of what has been predicted. 

At this point, they are considering reducing the modeled software predictions with a 50 percent adjustment factor. The next step would be to adjust payouts based on your modeled predictions– the more accurate your models the more savings for your customer. None of this is 100 percent set-in-stone at this point. 

Now is the time to share your perspective. We have reached out to Build it Green and PG&E regarding how this effects contractors and their business models. We are currently preparing a response letter so that contractors have a direct means to provide feedback to PG&E and the program administrators. 

Please send us your comments to us so we can add your voice to the letter. We will be accepting comments until 5:00 pm this Friday, Sep. 28th. Please send your comments directly to me at the email listed below.

Charley Cormany
Executive Director