California Public Utilities Commission recommends EHC's innovative approaches to successful energy efficiency programs
November 8, 2012 – San Diego, Calif. – Today the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a number of Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) recommendations to improve the effectiveness and reach of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs at the state's large energy utilities (including SDG&E). EHC, which empowers communities in San Diego and Tijuana to achieve environmental justice, pushed for these programs based on its successes implementing them in low-income neighborhoods in San Diego.
"Today's PUC decision is a milestone for transforming the energy efficiency market and ensuring the inclusion of disadvantaged community members into the clean energy economy," said Nicole Capretz, EHC's Green Energy/Green Jobs campaign director. "This new commitment to meeting efficiency goals focuses on long-term behavioral change and ensures members from disadvantaged communities have access to upgrades in their homes and access to training and jobs in their neighborhood."
EHC's recommendations include:
"Conservation and efficiency are the most cost-effective and easy ways to reduce energy and meet climate change goals. Our work shows that changing behavior before changing windows and insulation realizes a lot of energy savings," said Capretz, "If we can get Californians serious about energy savings, we can get California's decision makers serious about local energy independence by creating more jobs and transitioning off fossil fuels"
The energy utilities are expected to move forward with statewide implementation of EHC's approved recommendations starting in early 2013 and continuing at least through the end of 2014, possibly longer. In the meantime, EHC will continue its local energy education efforts and advocacy for a more efficient San Diego.
For more information about the Environmental Health Coalition's Green Energy and Green Jobs campaigns, please visit www.environmentalhealth.org
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION: Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and unsustainable energy policies. Visit us online at http://www.environmentalhealth.org/.