Building Decarbonization Coalition has announced the launch of the Accessible Financing Project. This effort seeks to develop a policy roadmap for opening the clean energy economy to low to moderate income households and renters.
California’s ambitious climate protection goals can only be met if households with low and moderate income can participate fully in the clean energy economy. California is home to more than 4 million low-income households and more than 5.8 million renters. Investments in clean energy upgrades need to be accessible to all Californians in order to help lower utility bills and improve the health and comfort of the places people call home. Direct install programs for energy efficiency offer a great start yet they are not scalable to serve the number of households required in the short time available to decarbonize our buildings.
Low- and moderate-income households face challenges due to lack of access to capital and renters face additional challenges stemming from landlord-tenant split incentives. To address these barriers, the Accessible Financing Project will develop policy prescriptions that satisfy the following core design criteria:
- Ability to finance over long periods (10-15 years) even in rental units with multiple changes in tenancy, etc.
- Ability to leverage utility bill savings to defray investment costs, rather than rely on consumer credit or home equity
- Cash-positive outcomes that assure low and moderate-income customers will not have increased energy burdens
- Ability to scale to serve millions of California households
To accomplish this task, BDC has assembled an experienced team that includes Holmes Hummel (Clean Energy Works), Harlan Lachman and Paul Cillo (Energy Efficiency Institute), and Jeanne Clinton (Special Advisor to the Governor and CPUC, Energy Efficiency, ret.), under the project management of Bruce Mast (Ardenna Energy). The team brings expertise in California’s regulatory and policy environment, as well as successful approaches to these problems that have been deployed elsewhere around the country via inclusive financing. The project plan for the production of a policy roadmap on financing includes multiple rounds of consultation and stakeholder engagement both within and beyond the members of the BDC. To learn more or get involved, please contact Bruce Mast.