Climate Action Bill by Senator Josh Becker to Ease Barriers to Clean Energy Homes & Buildings Advances in Legislature
For Immediate Release
SACRAMENTO – The Senate’s Energy Utilities and Communications Committee passed climate action legislation today by state Senator Josh Becker that will make it easier for owners to convert their property to electricity powered homes and buildings.
“My legislation helps clear the way for clean energy homes and buildings and will put California on a stronger path to reach our clean energy goals,” said Senator Becker, D-Peninsula. “Today, if a homeowner wants to convert her house to all-electric power – or maybe just enable her home to have an electric water heater or a charger for her car – she’s likely in for a costly wait of months. This is expensive and impractical.”
“No one wants to wait months to replace a water heater for a retrofit project. If that water heater is broken, and the replacement need is urgent, that wait simply won’t happen,” Senator Becker said. “Then what we have is a lose-lose scenario: The homeowner and California miss an opportunity to move toward to clean energy.”
Senate Bill 68 attacks the problem on three fronts. The bill:
- Directs the California Energy Commission to gather and publish best practices for building owners, the construction industry and local governments to address barriers to electrification of buildings and installation of the vehicle charging equipment.
- Aims to provide an incentive for driving down costs of building electrification by adding projects that benefit electricity ratepayers and lead to technological advancements that reduce costs for building electrification to the list of funding priorities for the Energy Commission's Electric Program Investment Charge effort, better known as the EPIC program.
- Requires the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates investor-owned utilities in California, to set timeframes for utilities to respond to requests for so that buildings will have enough power to support electric heating and car charging.
A longtime climate action advocate, Senator Becker has pushed for more stronger steps in California to achieve clean energy goals.
More than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions in California come from electricity generation, buildings and transportation. Two years ago, state lawmakers passed the California Clean Energy Act, setting a target of sourcing 100% of electricity from renewable and zero-carbon sources by 2045. President Biden has proposed a 2035 goal of 100% clean electricity nationwide, and before leaving office, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order for California’s entire economy to be 100% carbon neutral by 2045.
“We must do more to achieve these goals and California must do all we can to lift barriers to our clean energy future,” Senator Becker said. “I thank the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee for its support of my bill.”
SB 68 now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.
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