Good News for California's Premier Energy and Water Saving Program

Thankfully, the California Court of Appeal Fourth District lifted a restraining order today that would have blocked the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) ability to distribute $33 million in federal energy funds in time to meet a critical Department of Energy (DOE) deadline. The quick action by the Court allowed the CEC to allocate the $33 million in federal funding today to the statewide Energy Upgrade California program, just in time to meet the DOE deadline.

As I wrote in my previous blog, this innovative and comprehensive program, spearheaded by the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission, provides an excellent one-stop-shop for Californians to save money through energy and water upgrades and also helps us achieve our aggressive state climate goals. It is a critical step forward to help us capture available savings within the state’s existing building stock and provides a strong foundation for fulfilling the requirements of Assemblymember Nancy Skinner’s Assembly Bill 758.

In response to the threat of losing the $33 million in federal funds, the Natural Resources Defense Council  and the Environmental Defense Fund filed a brief in the California Court of Appeals in Riverside County asking the court to hear an emergency petition by the CEC to lift the restraining order. In addition, we jointly stated that the program must continue to ensure that Californians would be able to reap the benefits of energy and water upgrades.

The Court’s action today enables Californians to take advantage of this unprecedented program, which will provide real savings on utility bills, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and provide opportunities for job creation during a time when California’s economy is in need of a massive jumpstart.