FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14th, 2023
Chloe Zilliac, firstname.lastname@example.org 650.644.8259
The proposal would maintain funding for the Equitable Building Decarbonization program, but eliminate funding for Community Resilience Centers
Sacramento, Calif. — Leadership in the California Senate and Assembly reached a budget deal this week that would maintain nearly $1 billion in multi-year funding for programs to provide holistic home upgrades to low-income households, including equipping homes with clean energy technologies like heat pumps. The joint proposal would allocate over half of the funding this year, allowing programs to kick off to a strong start.
“Homes and buildings have historically been one of California’s most overlooked climate problems, but this budget proposal from the California Legislature shows real commitment to making this a priority for the state. We urge Governor Newsom to sign off on these commitments and support households in accessing healthier, more climate-ready homes,” said Jose Torres, California Director at the Building Decarbonization Coalition.
The Legislature’s budget proposal aligns with most of the commitments made last year to fund nearly $1 billion distributed over multiple years. Below are the allocations for the coming fiscal year 2023-2024:
- $422m for the Energy Commission’s Equitable Building Decarbonization Program
- $95m for the state’s existing TECH Program
- $20m for the Air Resources Board to accelerate the adoption of ultra-low-global-warming-potential refrigerants
- $25m for the Department of Community Services and Development’s Low-Income Weatherization Program for upgrading multi-family housing
- $10m from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for a new Building Energy Benchmarking Program at the Energy Commission
- $10m to support technical assistance & education on federal tax credits
Despite the encouraging commitment to zero-emission homes, the joint deal fell short by zeroing out funding for Climate Resilience Centers. Last year, California committed $160 million for the Strategic Growth Council to upgrade community centers, public libraries, schools, and other essential community hubs to expand access to backup power, life-saving cooling, and critical resources in working-class communities of color, especially during climate emergencies. Now, state leaders have proposed moving all of this funding to a bond that would be presented for voters to approve on a future ballot. This delays the funding and makes it uncertain.
“Community Resilience Centers will save lives during climate emergencies like heat waves and wildfires. Working-class communities of color cannot wait years for this funding from a bond that may or may not materialize. We urge state leaders to keep their previous commitment and ensure the full funding that was proposed last year,” said Stephanie Tsai, Senior California Policy & Campaign Manager, Building Decarbonization Coalition.
Environmental justice and climate advocates urged California leadership to work together to move funding for Climate Resilience Centers back into the General Fund.
The Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC) aligns critical stakeholders on a path to transform the nation’s buildings through clean energy, using policy, research, market development and public engagement. The BDC and its members are charting the course to eliminate fossil fuels in buildings to improve people’s health, cut climate and air pollution, prioritize high-road jobs, and ensure that our communities are more resilient to the impacts of climate change.