Currrent as of February 4, 2022
Assembly Bill No. 35
Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk
An act to amend Section 25943 of the Public Resources Code, relating to energy.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
AB 35, as amended, Quirk. Residential and nonresidential buildings: energy savings program.
Existing law requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to establish a regulatory proceeding to develop and implement a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in California’s existing residential and nonresidential building stock, and authorizes the commission to include in the program a broad range of energy assessments, building benchmarking, energy rating, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements, public and private sector energy efficiency financing options, public outreach and education efforts, and green workforce training. Existing law requires the commission to periodically update the program criteria and adopt any revision that, in its judgment, is necessary to improve or refine program requirements after receiving public input and, at least once every 3 years, to adopt an update to the program in furtherance of achieving a cumulative doubling of statewide energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas final end uses of retail customers by January 1, 2030.
This bill would require the commission to adopt an update to the program at least once every 5 years instead of every 3 years.
Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: no
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 25943 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
(a) (1) By March 1, 2010, the commission shall establish a regulatory proceeding to develop and implement a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in California’s existing residential and nonresidential building stock. This program shall comprise a complementary portfolio of techniques, applications, and practices that will achieve greater energy efficiency in existing residential and nonresidential structures that fall significantly below the current standards in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, as determined by the commission.
(2) The comprehensive program may include, but need not be limited to, a broad range of energy assessments, building benchmarking, energy rating, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements, public and private sector energy efficiency financing options, public outreach and education efforts, and green workforce training.
(3) The commission shall adopt, implement, and enforce a responsible contractor policy for use across all ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs that involve installation or maintenance, or both installation and maintenance, by building contractors to ensure that retrofits meet high-quality performance standards and reduce energy savings lost or foregone due to poor-quality workmanship.
(4) The commission, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, shall establish consumer protection guidelines for energy efficiency products and services.
(b) To develop and implement the program specified in subdivision (a), the commission shall do both of the following:
(1) Coordinate with the Public Utilities Commission and consult with representatives from the Bureau of Real Estate, the Department of Housing and Community Development, investor-owned and publicly owned utilities, local governments, real estate licensees, commercial and homebuilders, commercial property owners, small businesses, mortgage lenders, financial institutions, home appraisers, inspectors, energy rating organizations, consumer groups, environmental and environmental justice groups, and other entities the commission deems appropriate.
(2) Hold at least three public hearings in geographically diverse locations throughout the state.
(c) In developing the requirements for the program specified in subdivision (a), the commission shall consider all of the following:
(1) The amount of annual and peak energy savings, greenhouse gas emission reductions, and projected customer utility bill savings that will accrue from the program.
(2) The most cost-effective means and reasonable timeframes to achieve the goals of the program.
(3) The various climatic zones within the state.
(4) An appropriate method to inform and educate the public about the need for, benefits of, and environmental impacts of, the comprehensive energy efficiency program.
(5) The most effective way to report the energy assessment results and the corresponding energy efficiency improvements to the owner of the residential or nonresidential building, including, among other things, the following:
(A) Prioritizing the identified energy efficiency improvements.
(B) The payback period or cost-effectiveness of each improvement identified.
(C) The various incentives, loans, grants, and rebates offered to finance the improvements.
(D) Available financing options including all of the following:
(i) Mortgages or sales agreement components.
(ii) On-bill financing.
(iii) Contractual property tax assessments.
(iv) Home warranties.
(6) Existing statutory and regulatory requirements to achieve energy efficiency savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions.
(7) A broad range of implementation approaches, including both utility and nonutility administration of energy efficiency programs, especially the use of not-for-profit and community-based organizations that assist with deployment in disadvantaged communities identified pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.
(8) Workforce development and job training for residents in disadvantaged communities, including veterans, at-risk youth, and members of the state and local community conservation corps.
(9) Any other considerations deemed appropriate by the commission.
(d) The program developed pursuant to this section shall do all of the following:
(1) Minimize the overall costs of establishing and implementing the comprehensive energy efficiency program requirements.
(2) Ensure, for residential buildings, that the energy efficiency assessments, ratings, or improvements do not unreasonably or unnecessarily affect the home purchasing process or the ability of individuals to rent housing. A transfer of property subject to the program implemented pursuant to this section shall not be invalidated solely because of the failure of a person to comply with a provision of the program.
(3) Ensure, for nonresidential buildings, that the energy improvements do not have an undue economic impact on California businesses.
(4) Determine, for residential buildings, the appropriateness of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) program to support the goals of this section and whether there are a sufficient number of HERS-certified raters available to meet the program requirements.
(5) Determine, for nonresidential structures, the availability of an appropriate cost-effective energy efficiency assessment system and whether there are a sufficient number of certified raters or auditors available to meet the program requirements.
(6) Coordinate with the California Workforce Investment Board, the Employment Training Panel, the California Community Colleges, and other entities to ensure a qualified, well-trained workforce is available to implement the program requirements.
(7) Promote greater project penetration in disadvantaged communities identified pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code, including the deployment of energy efficiency surveys and audits, energy efficiency retrofits and upgrades, weatherization, and followup project inspections by state-certified community conservation corps and other community-based workforce development organizations that serve residents of disadvantaged communities, including veterans and disadvantaged youth.
(8) Coordinate with, and avoid duplication of, existing proceedings of the Public Utilities Commission and programs administered by utilities.
(e) A home energy rating or energy assessment service does not meet the requirements of this section unless the service has been certified by the commission to be in compliance with the program criteria developed pursuant to this section and is in conformity with other applicable elements of the program.
(f) (1) The commission shall periodically update the criteria and adopt any revision that, in its judgment, is necessary to improve or refine program requirements after receiving public input.
(2) On or before January 1, 2017, and at least once every three five years thereafter, the commission shall adopt an update to the program in furtherance of achieving a cumulative doubling of statewide energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas final end uses of retail customers by January 1, 2030.
(g) Before implementing an element of the program developed pursuant to subdivision (a) that requires the expansion of statutory authority of the commission or the Public Utilities Commission, the commission and the Public Utilities Commission shall obtain legislative approval for the expansion of their authorities.
(h) The commission shall report on the status of the program in the integrated energy policy report pursuant to Section 25302.
(i) The commission shall fund activities undertaken pursuant to this section from the Federal Trust Fund consistent with the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) or other sources of nonstate funds available to the commission for the purposes of this section.
(j) For purposes of this section, the following terms mean the following:
(1) “Energy assessment” means a determination of an energy user’s energy consumption level, relative efficiency compared to other users, and opportunities to achieve greater efficiency or improve energy resource utilization.
(2) “Energy efficiency” means delivering equal or more services with less energy input from an energy source.