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Big News: California PUC Approves Biggest Energy Efficiency Program in the Country's History

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Big News: California PUC Approves Biggest Energy Efficiency Program in the Country's History

Chris  Prelitz
Chris Prelitz More by this author
Nov 03, 2009 at 10:06 AM 0 comments

California's 'Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan' got a major boost today when the CA Public Utilities Commission voted to provide $3.1 billion in consumer rebates and other incentives over three years geared specifically toward making new and existing buildings more energy efficient.

The decision includes the new California statewide program for residential energy efficiency — CalSPREE — under which the CPUC will launch the largest and most comprehensive residential retrofit program in the U.S. This program aims to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent for up to 130,000 California homes by 2012. Today's decision funds $175 million for innovative programs to deliver zero net energy homes and commercial buildings, including design assistance, incentives for “above code” construction, and research and demonstration of new technologies and materials. 

The decision also provides over $260 million in funding for 64 cities, counties, and regional agencies for local efforts targeting public sector building retrofits and leading edge energy efficiency opportunities.  Over $100 million will go to education and training programs at all levels of our educational system to ensure a steady pipeline of skilled blue and white collar energy efficiency professionals.

The Plan emphasizes four Big Bold strategies as cornerstones for significant energy-savings with widespread benefit for all Californians. It sets the foundation for transforming energy patterns to make energy efficiency the way of life and “business as usual” in California for utilities, businesses, and consumers. Because of California's leadership role, this plan stands to change how buildings are built nationally and in China and India.

It includes four “Big Bold strategies” strategies for significant energy-savings:

  • All new residential construction in California will be zero net energy by 2020:
  • All new commercial construction in California will be zero net energy by 2030
  • The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry will be reshaped to ensure optimal equipment performance; and
  • All eligible low-income homes will be energy-efficient by 2020

As a provider of home energy evaluations, retrofit services, and energy saving products, we at New Leaf America are thrilled by today's announcement.  This represents yet another step forward in generating awareness and procuring the resources necessary to bring energy efficiency savings home to American households.

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