April 25, 2023
Contact: Robin Tung, Building Decarbonization Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sacramento, Calif. – The California Senate announced its “Protect Our Progress” budget proposal yesterday, which would restore critical investments for the Equitable Building Decarbonization program in response to cuts and delays proposed by Governor Newsom in January.
“The Senate is holding our ground on investments in building decarbonization to ensure Californians can transition their homes to zero emission and clean air alternatives,” said State Senator Josh Becker, Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee 2 on Environmental Protection and Energy. “Our proposal finds creative budget solutions to protect our progress in fighting climate change.”
In January, the Governor proposed cutting $87 million and delaying $370 million of the previously secured $922 million for the Equitable Building Decarbonization program to future years. The Senate proposal rejects that delay and outlines a strategy to maintain the funding for the upcoming fiscal year.
“We applaud the Senate leadership’s commitment to transitioning our low-income and working class communities to zero-emission homes and buildings, and we thank Senator Becker for championing this issue. This funding will equip Californians with clean electric appliances and build healthier, safer, and more climate-resilient communities in the face of worsening climate change impacts like extreme heat. Protecting these investments can also spur economic growth through high road clean energy jobs,” said Stephanie Tsai, California Senior Policy and Campaign Manager at the Building Decarbonization Coalition.
The Equitable Building Decarbonization program expands access to electric heat pumps, weatherization, and other essential home upgrades in low-income communities, particularly those impacted by extreme heat and high energy bills. Moving homes from fossil fuel appliances to highly efficient heat pumps can reduce household energy bills while improving indoor air quality and comfort and cutting climate pollution. It can also create high road jobs to support the clean energy transition.
“The Equitable Building Decarbonization program will provide urgently needed investments in holistic home upgrades that create good jobs and help us achieve our electrification and climate goals,” said Zach Lou, Coalition Manager for the California Green New Deal Coalition. “We commend the Senate’s commitment to protect this funding, which centers equity in the state’s transition to clean energy by protecting tenants, upholding labor standards, and delivering material benefits to low-income residents.”
California has an annual budgeting process, and the state budget must be passed in the Legislature by June 15. Governor Newsom is expected to announce the May Revision of his January proposal in mid-May, based on updated revenue information.