Millions of Californians will see smaller electricity bills this month
Climate Credit boosts energy efficiency
OW Staff Writer | 4/3/2014, midnight
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Air Resources Board this week announced that millions of California households will see a credit averaging $35 on their April electricity bills thanks to a state program to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. California consumers can save even more money by investing the bill savings in energy efficient home upgrades, including more efficient lights and appliances.
“The Climate Credit is made to households and small businesses to promote a cleaner, more energy efficient California, giving millions of Californians a stake in the fight for clean air and a healthy environment,” said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. “By investing their Climate Credit in simple items to improve energy efficiency—like LED lights or smart thermostats—consumers and businesses can save energy, reduce costs, and join with the State of California to fight climate change.”
Households and small businesses do not need to do anything to get the credit. Households will see the Climate Credit on their April and October bills each year, regardless of energy consumption or bill amount. Small businesses will receive the Climate Credit every month, as a credit related to the amount of electricity used. Those customers include commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers, as well as nonprofits and schools that typically use less than 20 kilowatts of power each month. More information about the Climate Credit is available at www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org/climatecredit.
“The Climate Credit is part of an array of programs developed by California to fight climate change and improve air quality. This includes cars that use less gas, cleaner electricity, and more energy efficient homes. This saves money and cleans the environment,” said Mary D. Nichols, chairperson of the California Air Resources Board, which is the lead agency for implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. “If homeowners and businesses use the credit to purchase some of the newest energy efficient light bulbs or other energy-saving equipment they will save even more.”
Customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric, will receive a Climate Credit that is designed to help California fight climate change and clean the air. The credit comes from payments by power plants and industries that, under California’s climate program, purchase permits when they put carbon pollution into the air. The credit is calculated according to rules established by the CPUC.
The Climate Credit is one of many programs developed as a result of landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which puts California at the forefront of efforts to battle climate change by requiring that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. Other programs include a nation-leading requirement that by 2020, a third of electricity used in California must come from clean, renewable sources like wind and solar. The state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard will deliver a new generation of cleaner fuels, including renewable fuels like biodiesel. And California’s zero-emission vehicle regulation requires that one of every seven cars sold in 2025 be fully zero-emission, a mandate supported by Governor Brown’s 2012 Executive Order to provide fueling infrastructure for these ultra-clean cars.
The Energy Upgrade California website (www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org/climatecredit) not only offers information on the Climate Credit, but also provides ways to take action to save energy, conserve natural resources, and make informed energy management choices at home and at work. Energy Upgrade California is the state’s initiative to educate residents and small business consumers about energy management.
For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.
For more information on the ARB, please visit www.arb.ca.gov..