For Immediate Release
January 17, 2024
Robin Tung, firstname.lastname@example.org
California regulators reject key building electrification program
The California Public Utilities Commission rejected the largest and first-ever utility-initiated building electrification program to deploy a quarter of a million heat pumps across California.
Sacramento, CA – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) rejected Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Building Electrification proposal on January 11, blocking the largest state-funded program of its kind and the installation of about a quarter of a million electric heat pumps in California homes. This decision follows the Governor’s announcement last week to cut $283 million in funding for the Equitable Building Decarbonization program, setting California back in its progress to decarbonize its building sector and prioritize low-income households.
“Temperatures are rising with climate change, and California needs rapid and wide-reaching solutions to create climate-ready homes. The CPUC’s decision leaves hundreds of thousands of households at risk of extreme heat, and deals a major blow to the state’s climate efforts. California should be accelerating large-scale solutions to deploy heat pumps for life-saving cooling,” said Beckie Menten, Senior Policy and Regulatory Specialist at Building Decarbonization Coalition.
Extreme heat events cause more deaths in the U.S. than all other weather disasters combined, and are growing in intensity and frequency because of climate pollution generated by homes and buildings. Eleven million California households–nearly 80% of homes–use appliances that run on methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that pollutes and fuels the climate crisis.
“On the heels of the hottest year on record and a proposed budget that slashes funding for equitable building decarbonization, this is an extremely disappointing decision,” said Nihal Shrinath, an attorney with the Sierra Club. “Now more than ever, it’s critical that we install electric appliances and remove the up-front financial barriers that can make electrification prohibitively expensive for low-income Californians.”
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.