In the 2017 legislative session, there is a clear trend that shows the intent to focus and prioritize energy and climate policy for low-income and disadvantaged communities. This post will provide a short analysis on the priorities broken down by specific area or category.
Connecting climate change policy and funding to disadvantaged communities continues to be a major priority. AB 378, among other things, authorizes the Air Resources Board (ARB) to continue its market-based compliance mechanism (Cap-and-Trade) from 2021-2030 to achieve the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions target of 40% below the statewide GHG emission limits by 2030 established by SB 32 (2016) under Health and Safety Code Section 38566. AB 378 amends Health and Safety Code Section 38562.5, added by AB 197 (2016), that requires the ARB to consider the social cost of GHG emissions and prioritize reductions from stationary, mobile, and sources other than stationary and mobile when adopting rules and regulations to achieve emissions reductions beyond the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit and to protect the state’s most impacted and disadvantaged communities. Additionally, the legislature is also focusing on climate assistance, investment and incentives, energy efficiency and distributed energy resources in existing structures, solar thermal energy systems, net energy metering, community solar, and water in low-income and disadvantage communities. A non-exhaustive list of relevant bills can be found below:
- AB 378: California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: Regulations
- SB 263: Climate Assistance Centers
Investment and Incentives for Infrastructure, EPIC Projects, and Energy Efficiency and Distributed Energy Resources in Existing Buildings
- AB 397: Preference to Modern Electric or Gas Facilities Serving Disadvantaged Communities
- AB 1088: Multi-Unit Residential Housing Energy Programs
- AB 1431: Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources
- AB 523: Energy Program Investment Charge: Allocation
Solar Energy Systems
- AB 797: Reserving 50% of Solar Water Heating and Efficiency Act Funding for Low-Income Housing or Buildings in Disadvantaged Communities
- AB 1198: Net Energy Metering Program Definition of Disadvantage Communities
- AB 366: Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program
AB 577: Disadvantaged Communities Definition
For additional information on bills introduced during the 2017 session, please visit EPIC’s Legislative Center.