For Immediate Release: April 10, 2019
SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today heard updates on the organization’s commitment to diversity and outreach to low-income and disadvantaged communities.
The 2018 diversity update highlighted the Energy Commission’s progress toward increasing participation in diverse business enterprises while adding benefits to disadvantaged communities and diversity to the energy industry workforce.
In 2018, the Energy Commission invested $33 million in electric vehicle infrastructure from the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP), with 40 percent of that funding being spent in disadvantaged communities, according to the update. Progress is being made to encourage the installation of solar in new residential buildings with the New Solar Homes Partnership showing a 197 percent increase in reserved funding for affordable housing projects in 2018, the update said.
The Energy Commission also heard a presentation on the 2018 Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group. The group, created by the Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission, advises on programs proposed to achieve clean energy and pollution reduction in disadvantaged communities. In 2018, the group identified nine energy equity indicators relating to clean energy access, investment, and resilience in low-income or disadvantaged communities.
At today’s meeting, the Energy Commission adopted the Energy Program Investment Charge (EPIC) 2018 annual report. The report outlines the progress and status of activities funded by EPIC for investments in clean energy technologies and approaches that benefit ratepayers of California’s three largest investor-owned utilities.
The Energy Commission also approved more than $6 million in grants for eight public school districts, or joint powers authorities, to replace diesel school buses with compressed natural gas buses. The awards are from the School Bus Replacement Program, funded by the ARFVTP. These grants provide less-polluting natural gas school buses for routes less suited for an electric bus. In the near future, the Energy Commission will award funds for the purchase of all-electric school buses.
More details are available in the business meeting agenda.
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About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.