Sacramento, Calif. – Governor Newsom released an updated budget proposal today that still cuts back the state’s commitment to invest nearly $1 billion in programs that support low-income households in holistic home energy upgrades, including highly efficient electric heat pumps, which lower energy bills, cut climate pollution, and improve public health. The Governor also proposed funding Community Resilience Centers through a bond instead of the General Fund. The Administration’s revised budget proposal comes after the California Senate’s proposal last month, which not only maintained, but actually increased funding for low-income heat pump upgrades by $100 million.
“In the face of high energy bills and climate impacts like extreme heat, now is not the time to scale back California’s commitments to programs to help low-income households and environmental justice communities access energy-saving electric heat pumps. Heat pumps and other upgrades can lower energy bills, create climate resilience, and provide life-saving cooling for those who need it most,” said Jose Torres, California Director at the Building Decarbonization Coalition. “The California Senate has proposed not only maintaining, but expanding funding for these programs. We look forward to working with the Administration to maintain California’s full commitment.”
Funding Community Resilience Centers through a bond creates uncertainty and delays since it would require voters to pass a ballot measure. As Californians encounter more extreme weather patterns, including flooding and heat waves, this funding is urgently needed to create safe spaces to access cooling, backup power, clean air, and other critical services during climate disasters. Funding for Community Resilience Centers would upgrade community-based facilities like libraries and schools to serve as lifelines for low-income and working-class communities of color.
Though the budget proposal puts these programs at risk, the TECH Clean California program remains fully funded. This important program is designed to help accelerate California’s market for heat pumps through incentives and consumer education.
The Building Decarbonization Coalition, environmental justice organizations, and environmental groups are advocating to restore investments in these programs. The state budget must be passed in the Legislature by June 15.