On-Bill Repayment Approved By California Public Utilities Commission

This commentary was originally posted on the EDF California Dream 2.0 Blog.

Last week the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved energy efficiency programs and budgets that include an innovative On-Bill Repayment (OBR) program. The OBR program will allow commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency or renewable generation upgrades for their buildings and repay the obligation through the utility bill. The program is ‘open-source’ and is designed to allow a wide variety of contractors, solar installers, and energy efficiency project developers to work with a range of financial institutions to design offerings that best meet the needs of their customers.

The CPUC approval was highlighted today in the New York Times.

In the decision, the CPUC reiterated their intention to have the OBR program operational by March 2013. We understand that some of the utilities have expressed concern that this timeline is aggressive, but were pleased that the CPUC decision noted that the utilities have been aware of this timeline since the original CPUC decision last May.

A predictable timeline for OBR implementation is critical as EDF is working closely with multiple market participants to create a pipeline of projects that can be executed as soon as the program is operational. A successful launch will allow us to demonstrate to other states that OBR can create private investment and new jobs at no cost to ratepayers or taxpayers. We believe that this is a message that will resonate across the political spectrum.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    This OBR is great. With the incentives that the utilities provide for increasing energy efficiency and then this On Bill Refinancing program, building owners and industries have only very little, or no money to come up with "out of pocket". This program should spur a lot of jobs in the state, as well as helping California in continuing to meet their environmental goals.
    Increased solar and natural gas and water efficiency is crucial for the state.
    I applaud the CPUC for passing this measure.

One Trackback

  • By What will change buildings? No upfront costs. | on November 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    [...] banker now with the Environmental Defense Fund, among others is working on a program to allow business owners to pay for upgrades through their utility bill. It rolls out in California early next year. The program is far simpler than [...]

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