Pulling the Trigger: Increasing Home Energy Savings

Author: Lori Bamberger

In its Strategic Plan, the California Public Utilities Commission directs Investor Owned Utilities to achieve a 40 percent energy consumption reduction in their large share of all 12.9 million homes in California.  Recently, a study priced this transformation at over $60 billion for single-family homes alone. Clearly, the achievement of energy efficiency in the State’s 8.4 million single family homes — nearly 10 percent of all single family homes in the Nation — amidst an economic crisis, depressed home values in some markets, and constrained credit availability, will prove challenging. However, we think there are innovative solutions that can indeed succeed.

In partnership with the BlueGreen Alliance and the UC Berkeley Labor Center, CalCEF began the thought leadership work around developing a policy and an actionable implementation agenda that links the housing, banking, real estate, and energy arenas in ways that can dramatically transform California’s EE marketplace for single family homes, while also creating jobs and economic benefits.

This work builds on CalCEF’s prior white papers on EE financing innovations, and moves to a unique and timely consideration of home ownership — from the home purchase process, to the home renovation, and to other “trigger” moments when homeowners are already making financial and property-related investments.

Our work explores the connection between energy costs, market information, long-term affordability, energy rate tiers, and loan and neighborhood stabilization for California communities and their residents. We describe exemplary profiles of innovations at each trigger point, offer stakeholder considerations, and recommend a menu of solutions tied to each trigger moment.


Pulling the Trigger: Increasing Home Energy Savings - CalCEF

Pulling the Trigger — Catalyzing Residential Energy Efficiency in California: on October 27, 2011, UC Berkeley School of Law co-hosted a roundtable on this topic with CalCEF in partnership with the BlueGreen Alliance and the UC Berkeley Labor Center at the UC Berkeley Clark Kerr Campus. The roundtable was attended by 70 people from all relevant sectors—real estate, banking, efficiency and renewable industries, labor, environmental, housing, government, nonprofit organizations—who engaged in a productive discussion to help progress this important subject toward solutions and action along with identifying important transformation strategies for each of these homeownership moment triggers.

Resulting Action

Pulling the Trigger: Increasing Home Energy Savings - CalCEF