California Approves $3.1 Billion
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently established energy efficiency programs for 2010 - 2012, approving a three-year budget of $3.1 billion for Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Southern California Gas Company. CPUC says this is the largest commitment ever made by a state to energy efficiency and further confirms California's leadership.
CPUC expects these programs to create energy savings of almost 7,000 gigawatt hours, 1,500 megawatts, and 150 million metric therms of natural gas; this is the equivalent of three 500-megawatt power plants and will avoid 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The funding from this decision can reportedly create between 15,000 and 18,000 skilled green jobs.
The decision approved by CPUC includes the new California statewide program for residential energy efficiency - CalSPREE - under which the CPUC launches what it says is the largest and most comprehensive residential retrofit program in the U.S., aiming to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent for up to 130,000 California homes by 2012. The decision funds $175 million for innovative programs to deliver zero net energy homes and commercial buildings, including design assistance, incentives for "above code" construction, and research and demonstration of new technologies and materials.
The decision also provides over $260 million in funding for 64 cities, counties, and regional agencies for local efforts targeting public sector building retrofits and leading edge energy efficiency opportunities. Over $100 million will go to education and training programs.
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