Robert Walton, Utility Dive
California regulators on Thursday updated a decades-old energy policy to allow the state's $1 billion annual budget for energy efficiency to be directed toward building electrification efforts, giving a boost to the state's move away from natural gas.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimouslyto alter the "three-prong test" that was originally adopted in the early 1990s to avoid encouraging programs that substitute electricity for natural gas. Efficiency advocates called the rule "an incredibly obscure piece of energy policy."
California's greenhouse gas goals will require abandoning fossil fuels entirely, say many climate advocates. But the change had opponents, including Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas). The nation's largest gas distribution company said the new rules will "remove or reduce ratepayer protections" and obscure the real cost of some efficiency efforts.