Skip to main content

Coalition calls on Governor Newsom to uphold funding for Equitable Building Decarbonization Program

Building Decarbonization Climate Bond Press Release

Media Contact:
Tryn Brown

Coalition calls on Governor Newsom to uphold funding for Equitable Building Decarbonization Program
After the Governor’s proposed budget cuts to the Equitable Building Decarbonization Program, a coalition of climate justice and environmental organizations urge policymakers to maintain $922 million in the budget and bolster the program through a climate bond to accelerate heat pump installations and home upgrades for low-income households.

Sacramento, CA – A coalition of environmental justice and equity groups, environmental organizations, energy providers, and equipment manufacturers submitted a letter yesterday urging Governor Newsom and California policymakers to uphold $922 million for the California Energy Commission’s Equitable Building Decarbonization (EBD) Program and bolster the program with $400 million in a climate bond that will appear before voters in November. The EBD Program would help expand access to cooling, improve air quality, reduce climate pollution, and boost the health and comfort of low-income and environmental justice communities. It would also accelerate the state’s goal of installing 6 million heat pumps by 2030.

“Working-class Californians need healthy, climate-resilient homes and communities that are outfitted with zero-emission heat pumps. Large-scale solutions like the Equitable Building Decarbonization Program can provide clean air and cooling, and help meet California’s climate goals. Shrinking funding for the program would have negative impacts on Californians,” said Jose Torres, California Director at the Building Decarbonization Coalition.

Currently, about a quarter of Californians lack access to cooling, and extreme heat events have only grown more severe. Climate change has increased temperatures in California by 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit and temperatures are expected to rise by another five degrees by 2030. Heat pumps can mitigate the impacts of rising temperatures by providing more efficient cooling to households than traditional A/C units.

“At CRPE, our efforts have been focused on facilitating the implementation of the San Joaquin Valley Pilot Program (AB 2672, Perea, 2014), which aimed to install electric appliances in disadvantaged communities within the San Joaquin Valley. We encountered some challenges with this program, particularly the lack of funding for home retrofits and high-quality contractors necessary to maximize the program’s impact on our communities. While this program has been successful in providing much-needed upgrades, increased funding would have resulted in greater success with implementation. Therefore, CRPE and our allies at the Building Energy, Equity & Power (BEEP) Coalition strongly advocate that the state maintains the $922 million budget for the CEC Equitable Building Decarbonization Program to help ensure that no one is left behind,” said Grecia Orozco, Staff Attorney at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment.

In California, homes and buildings rank second after the transportation sector in producing greenhouse gas emissions. The EBD Program could make it easier for hundreds of thousands of low-income households to get heat pumps and other home upgrades that are needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Heat pumps can also improve air quality for 99% of disadvantaged communities in California to build healthier, more resilient homes. In addition, the program is designed with tenant protections that prevent rent increases, lengthy construction times, and evictions without just cause.

In May, the Governor will release the May Revision outlining an updated state budget. The Legislature must pass a unified climate bond proposal in June in order to place it on the November ballot.

(Additional quotes from supporting organizations can be found here).


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.