The CEC began work on the study in 2016 and adopted it later that year. Based on input from advocacy groups and residents of low-income and disadvantaged communities across the state, the study identified barriers hindering people and businesses in those communities from investing in, adopting or taking advantage of clean energy technologies. Some of the barriers mentioned included limited disposable income, difficulty in securing financing, low home ownership rates, the age and condition of structures, lack of awareness about energy programs and incomplete or unavailable data, and policy issues.
The study provides a host of possible solutions and recommendations such as reducing the cost of solar access to low income customers and communities, greater support for workforce development, and making energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy tax credits a high priority for low-income affordable housing rehabilitation projects. The CEC is already working with the Legislature, other state agencies, community groups, and interested stakeholders, to help ensure all California benefit from the state’s clean energy transformation.