|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 10, 2016
CALIFORNIA DELIVERS ADVOCATES VOICE SUPPORT FOR PUC ENERGY SAVINGS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM APPROVAL
SAN FRANCISCO – The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today approved a proposal to significantly increase energy efficiency opportunities for four million low-income Californians, reaching those in multifamily housing for the first time. A broad coalition of 19 organizations supported the proposal to enhance California’s Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) program, a move that could serve as a national model for easing the energy burden of low-income households, cutting energy waste, and reducing harmful pollution.
By adopting the first energy-savings target in the program’s history, creating a new $80 million whole-building multifamily segment for California’s underserved households in rent-assisted rental units, and adopting a host of new measures like requiring LED lighting, this proposal helps bring the ESA program into alignment with state policy that calls on California to double energy savings and slash greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
The Energy Efficiency for All Coalition—which includes the organizations quoted below—actively participated in a two-year proceeding that shaped today’s outcome. In a joint letter submitted to PUC commissioners on Oct. 17, a total of 19 consumer, health, environmental, housing, business, and faith groups joined forces to urge the PUC to approve modifications to the ESA program to bolster energy efficiency opportunities for low-income households, especially underserved residents of multifamily housing. In addition to offering support for PUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval’s Alternate Proposed Decision, the groups suggested improvements to make the overall policy more effective.
Up until now, California’s investment in low-income residential energy efficiency improvements has been primarily focused on single-family homes, excluding low-income Californians who are more likely to live in multifamily dwellings. Currently, California is overlooking major opportunities to reduce energy use and carbon pollution from a large portion of buildings. While today’s decision will help those tenants in subsidized housing, the program opportunities for low-income properties that are not subsidized was left unchanged, leaving out nearly one million households.
Reactions from California Delivers coalition members:
Andy Brooks, Director of West Coast Operations, Association for Energy Affordability:
Maria Stamas, Project Attorney for Energy and Climate Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council:
Stephanie Chen, Energy and Telecommunications Director, The Greenlining Institute:
James Grow, Senior Staff Attorney, National Housing Law Project:
Reactions from other supporters of the proposal:
Matt Schwartz, President and CEO, California Housing Partnership Corporation:
Amy Dryden, Senior Program Manager, Built It Green:
For background information on the decision, see blogs to be posted later today by NRDC’s Maria Stamas and CHPC’s Stephanie Wang. To reach Maria Stamas, contact Pat Remick, Natural Resources Defense Council, email@example.com, 202-289-2411.
California Delivers is a broad coalition of businesses, public health professionals, working families, equity organizations, consumer groups, community and faith leaders, environmental organizations, public officials, and other individuals, focused on protecting, implementing, and extending the benefits of AB 32 along with other clean energy and transportation policies that benefit all Californians. Visit CADelivers.org for more information.
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