This commentary was originally posted on the EDF California Dream 2.0 Blog.
Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission released for comment EDF’s proposal to create the first statewide on-bill repayment (OBR) program that pays for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for residential and commercial properties using third-party financing. The proposal is taking two important steps forward this week.
The first step: Senator Kevin de Leon (D-LA) and Senator Lou Correa (D-Orange County) today introduced enabling legislation for the program. Based on preliminary conversations, we are optimistic that this proposal will receive support from members of both political parties. This bill is designed to deal with questions regarding the agency’s authority to develop an OBR program. It also provides a mechanism for property owners to disclose OBR projects to prospective renters or buyers. This disclosure will enable a building occupant to see how the money saved by the efficiency project will be used to pay back the OBR investment tied to their property.
The second step: the CPUC is hosting workshops in San Francisco on February 8-10 to discuss the OBR proposal and other aspects of energy efficiency finance. More than 200 stakeholders and other members of the public are expected to participate in the workshops, including several contractors, lenders, Energy Services Agreement (ESA) companies and building owners that see an attractive economic opportunity in the program.
EDF looks forward to working with all interested parties, to construct a successful program that can begin financing projects early next year.