Energy Efficiency Financing in California
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Energy Efficiency Financing in California


In 2008 the CPUC adopted the California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, which recognized the critical role of financing in helping California to meet its energy efficiency goals – especially for obtaining efficiency improvements to existing homes, businesses, and other facilities. In Decision D.09-09-047 (2009) the Commission specifically directed Energy Division staff, in consultation with knowledgeable financial experts, to prepare an assessment and plan for ensuring the most promising and effective financing instruments are available for energy efficiency investments. Later in 2009 the State Legislature enacted AB 758 (Statutes of 2009) that directed 1) the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in the state's existing residential and nonresidential building stock, and 2) the CPUC to investigate the ability of electric and gas utilities to provide energy efficiency financing options to their customers to implement the program to be developed by the CEC. The Energy Division engaged a consulting team, Harcourt Brown & Carey (HB&C), to accomplish both the Commission’s and Legislature’s directions to identify meaningful financing approaches for efficiency. HB&C conducted a needs and gaps assessment, and has made findings and recommendations for the most effective approaches to facilitate capital investment in efficiency. Energy Division staff and HB&C together conducted public workshops in October 2010 to explore issues, needs, and promising ideas. Since then the consultant team has documented specific mechanisms, and compared them to both the scale of investment needed in California and the specific needs of borrower market segments. The attached report presents their findings

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