Why CER is Important
Power outages in recent years have cost the California economy billions and are expected to continue, particularly as record-setting recent heat waves continue across the West. In response, homeowners, businesses and utilities have been rapidly investing in new fossil fuel generators, primarily diesel, expenditures which run counter to California’s environmental goals.
There is a better way to enhance energy resilience: local governments can partner with utilities to develop comprehensive plans for strategically building clean distributed energy resources (DERs), taking advantage of dramatic recent cost reductions of clean energy generation and storage. Expedited development of DERs through energy resilience planning, in collaboration with utilities, will create thousands of well- paying jobs supplied by a well-trained workforce, and will yield DERs located to maximize benefits to the community and the grid.
Installation of DERs typically requires local permitting approval, including the siting of clean energy generation, storage, and EV charging infrastructure. Local governments, particularly in lower income communities, currently lack the staff capacity and funding needed for energy resilience planning. Absent state policy leadership, only the wealthiest individuals, businesses and communities will achieve clean energy resilience, leaving poor communities most exposed to diesel pollution or in the dark.
With the state benefiting from an unprecedented budget surplus, it is critical that legislators hear that funding community energy resilience based on clean energy, not diesel, should be a state funding priority. Please reach out to your state representatives and express your support for getting funding for community energy resilience planning included in this year’s budget.