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California Energy Commission’s Equitable Building Decarbonization Program

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature reached a budget agreement to invest $432 million in this year’s California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Equitable Building Decarbonization Program

In 2022, the state committed almost $1 billion to the CEC for this multi-year, statewide program, which includes assistance for low- and moderate-income households to decarbonize through low to no-cost upgrades, such as heat pumps for space heating and cooling, heat pump water heaters and other clean energy measures. 

This program’s building decarbonization upgrades will provide household participants with many benefits, including reduced outside air infiltration and homes more resilient to temperature extremes. Upgrades through this program are designed to reduce the household energy burden, or the percentage of household income spent on energy costs. This is especially important for low- and moderate-income families because their energy burden averages higher than those in other income brackets.

The upfront investment needed for building decarbonization can often be prohibitively expensive for some families, despite resources like existing utility programs and federal tax credits. While it’s disappointing that the budget for the program suffered a $50 million cut for this year, the Equitable Building Decarbonization Program provides a critical resource towards ensuring low to moderate-income households aren’t left out of the clean energy transition and its benefits. 

Nicole Whiting

EFCA Director of Communications