Utilities commission must act to encourage clean energy microgrids

by P.J. Quesada, CalMatters


  • Many Californians are experiencing the negative health effects associated with dirty energy pollution
  • To combat this, the California Public Utilities Commission should advance a regulatory framework for more microgrids throughout the state, especially for essential businesses 
  • California ok’d the use of diesel powered generators during power shutoffs that occur during wildfire season, therefore allowing more air pollution
  • The microgrid installed at Ramar Foods in California has avoided 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions since 2013 and plans to offset over 333,000 more pounds of carbon with upgrades to their microgrid

The state’s century-old electric grid is failing Californians, leaving residents and businesses to face the costly and deadly impacts of public safety power shutoffs and rolling blackouts. The Climate Center has launched an initiative for equitable clean and smart microgrids to build Community Energy Resilience as part of our Climate-Safe California campaign.

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California moves to tackle another big emissions source: fossil fuel use in buildings

by Justin Gerdes, Greentech Media


The California Public Utilities Commission has dedicated $45 million to heat pump water heater incentives. Around $4 million will be exclusively for low-income residents.

  • Since 90% of heat pump water heaters and furnaces in California are powered by natural gas or propane, the heat pump water heater incentives will cut down GHG emissions from buildings and help utilize overproduced renewable energy
  • A workshop will be held on March 31st to determine the details of the incentive program such as extending the funding over time and determining who receives the rebate
  • Electric heat pump water heaters are up to five times more energy-efficient than conventional gas models

The Climate Center has launched the ACE initiative for clean and smart community microgrids to build energy resilience in the building sector as natural gas use is phased out.

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