While many parties have a stake in California’s energy efficiency policy, only the Efficiency Council explicitly represents the non-utility businesses that provide energy efficiency services and products in the state at the California Legislature. The Efficiency Council frequently weighs in on developing legislation that affects the energy efficiency industry through regular communication with legislative offices and the Governor’s office, public testimony, and formal comment letters.
Please note that comment letters on specific bills reflect the Efficiency Council’s position on the bill language at the time of the submission of the letter. As a bill is often amended significantly over the course of a legislative session, only links to the most recent version of the Efficiency Council’s comment letters specific to a numbered bill are included below.
Use of Potential Revenue from the Auction of AB 32 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Allowances
As California Legislature is in the midst of developing an investment plan for the potential auction proceeds from cap-and-trade as developed by the AB 32 scoping process, the Efficiency Council remains engaged to encourage investments in energy efficiency. The Efficiency Council has advocated that strategic investment of auction funds in energy efficiency will further the purposes of AB 32 and deliver long-term economic, environmental, and public health benefits for the state.
Public Goods Charge Reauthorization, Including Public Interest Energy Research (PIER)
The Public Goods Charge (PGC), a surcharge imposed on sales of electricity that funds investments in energy efficiency, RD&D, and renewable energy, is due to expire at the end of 2011. The California Legislature has the authority to extend or reimagine the PGC, but did not reauthorize the PGC during the 2011 legislative session. The Governor directed the CPUC to identify opportunities to continue the funding for the efficiency, RD&D, and renewable programs that are currently supported by the PGC (see CPUC policy section for the Efficiency Council’s comments in that forum).
- September 7, 2011 – AB 724 (Bradford and Williams) – SUPPORT IF AMENDED
- September 7, 2011 – SB 870 (Padilla and Steinberg) – SUPPORT IF AMENDED
- August 24, 2011 - Governor Brown’s Proposal for Reauthorization of the Public Goods Charge – SUPPORT IF AMENDED
- August 18, 2011 - SB 343 (De Leon) – SUPPORT
- August 18, 2011 - SB 35 (Padilla) – SUPPORT IF AMENDED
- August 15, 2011 - AB 1303 (Williams) – SUPPORT IF AMENDED
- August 15, 2011 - AB 723 (Bradford) – SUPPORT IF AMENDED
- July 1, 2011 - Comment on Future of the Public Goods Charge to Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications and Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce
- April 28, 2011 - SB 410 (Wright) – SUPPORT
- April 8, 2011 –Reauthorization of the Public Goods Charge - AB 723 (Bradford) and AB 1303 (Williams) – SUPPORT
- March 25, 2011 - Reauthorization of the Public Goods Charge - SUPPORT
- February 28, 2011 - Reauthorization of the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program - SUPPORT
Transfer and Protection of Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Funds
The Legislature’s efforts to balance the state budget amidst the ongoing fiscal crisis in Sacramento directly affected the energy efficiency industry in the summer of 2011. State budget bill SB 87 (signed on June 30, 2011) allowed the transfer of up to $155 million from the Gas Consumption Surcharge in gas Public Purpose Program (PPP) funds, used to fund natural gas energy efficiency programs, to the state’s General Fund. Unlike the electric Public Goods Charge, the gas surcharge is collected through state accounts that are subject to legislative appropriation and redirection to the state’s general fund. The Efficiency Council has strongly objected to the transfer of the natural gas surcharge funds to unrelated purposes and also has supported efforts to protect these funds going forward.
Energy Efficiency Codes and Standards Enforcement
Codes and standards are an important element of energy efficiency in California. Enforcement of existing standards has been identified by many stakeholders as an area in need of improvement. The legislature acted to increase compliance with California’s appliance standards and energy efficiency requirements when it passed SB 454 (Pavley, 2011).