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California Legislature invests in building decarbonization and electric heat pumps

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2022
Contact: Robin Tung, Building Decarbonization Coalition

Sacramento, CA – California programs aimed at decarbonizing buildings and expanding access to efficient cooling in homes will receive over $1.3 billion in multi-year funding as part of a historic $19.3 billion climate and energy package released Sunday by the California Legislature. This funding is the largest state investment to upgrade homes with electric heat pumps – which provide efficient heating and cooling – and will support the state in meeting Governor Newsom’s ambitious new targets for climate-ready homes announced last month in a letter to the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

“This funding to provide California households with clean, electric heat pumps couldn’t have come at a better time. Californians are experiencing longer, more punishing heat waves every year and 3.7 million households still don’t have access to cooling,” stated Jose Torres, California Director of the Building Decarbonization Coalition. “We applaud the state for this investment, which will bring much-needed relief to so many households, especially those living in low-income and environmental justice communities. In the coming years this need will continue to grow, so we’re glad the state is taking a first step.”

“This historic climate package will provide funding for hundreds of thousands of homes with clean cooling, energy efficiency, and other holistic upgrades to foster safety and resilience for working families,” said Luis Amezcua, Senior Policy & Campaign Manager of the Building Decarbonization Coalition. “Many schools in California also don’t have sufficient cooling, with some as of recently shut down because of broken cooling systems. We are excited to see this budget include investments for clean cooling at schools that will keep our children safe from extreme heat, reduce climate emissions, and create good-paying jobs for Californians.”

California’s investments in building decarbonization include:

  • $922 million for healthy and resilient homes to expand access to cooling for households through heat pumps and provide weatherization and other essential home upgrades, prioritizing low-income and environmental justice communities. 
  • $145 million for Technology and Equipment for Clean Heating (TECH) Initiative to focus on transitioning households towards zero-emission appliances, including the deployment of thousands of heat pumps, with 50% of these installations directed to low-income households and environmental justice communities.
  • $40 million to accelerate the adoption of ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants used in air conditioning systems and refrigeration to help reduce ozone depletion and its harmful effects on human health.
  • $170 million for community resilience centers to expand access to cooling, backup power, and other resources by upgrading community-based facilities with clean energy technologies like heat pumps. 
  • $20 million for The California Schools Healthy Air Plumbing and Efficiency Program (CalSHAPE) to focus on zero-emissions HVAC replacements. 
  • $15 million for the Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) Farmworker Housing Component to provide farmworkers with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy efficiency upgrades at no cost.
  • $5 million to create policy recommendations related to indoor air temperatures to ensure that tenants have access to cooling and are protected from extreme heat. 

These investments towards creating healthy and resilient homes, schools, and communities in California are a commitment to protecting Californians against extreme weather and mitigating the climate crisis. The Building Decarbonization will continue to work alongside partners and stakeholders across environmental, environmental justice, and industry sectors to advocate for investments in decarbonizing California’s homes and buildings.