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Advocacy Update, October 2020

Advocacy Update October 2020

New finance offers

Upgrading existing homes is a critical strategy in the effort to decarbonize California. Energy efficiency upgrades and electrification projects can get expensive. New finance models will be needed to achieve the scale required to meet the state's decarbonization goals. The good news is policymakers have identified this barrier and are now exploring several different options.

The result could be more industry-specific finance offers like the GoGreenTM financing offers supported by California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF). The program was developed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in collaboration with the investor-owned utilities and has industry-specific finance offers with competitive rates. The goal is to provide special finance offers that support the state’s ambitious emissions reduction goals. Other groups are working on new finance tools, such as on-bill financing, which will allow homeowners to pay for improvements on their monthly utility bills. Don't forget to check with your local utility, as many of them are offing special finance offers too.

Update to the building codes – Title 24 for 2022

California updates its building codes on a three-year cycle. Today's policy discussions will impact changes to the 2022 building code. Title 24 is a generic reference to the energy efficiency portion of the building code. The California Energy Commission (CEC) is holding workshops on-line due to Covid-19 to get feedback from stakeholders. The subjects range from commercial boilers and HVAC to changes to the residential building additions and alterations code.  If you would like to voice your opinion, now is the time. For a list of workshop dates and topics, visit the CECs 2022 Building Energy Efficiency Standards page on the CECs website.

The CPUC is working on long-term gas planning.

In January of 2020, the CPUC launched a proceeding to evaluate the long-term changes required to the state's gas distribution system. The last effort was in 2004. The proceedings will cover multiple topics, including safety improvements for the existing system, decommissioning the Aliso Canyon storage facility, and the transition away from natural gas-fueled technologies. The proceeding will also address the need to reduce our dependence on natural gas to meet the state's decarbonization goals. A primary concern is making the solution fair so that the final users of natural gas don't bear an unfair burden of maintaining the aging infrastructure. 

If you would like to learn more about California’s transition away from natural gas, you should check out the Building Decarbonization Coalition’s (BDC) decarbonization roadmap. Want more info? BDC members can access their new nine-part webinar series dedicated to the topic. 

Charley Cormany

Executive Director