CFC Supports AB 1124 – Low Income Energy Efficiency Program

Bill Update: AB 1124 passed the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee by a vote of 11 to 2. The bill now moves to Assembly Appropriations.

CFC Position: Support

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) restrictions on the Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) prevent the replacement or repair of heating and cooling systems in multifamily rental apartment buildings. More than one third of the low-income households that are eligible for the LIEEP live in multifamily buildings, such as apartments. Current rules allow only minor adjustments of heating and cooling systems resulting in minimal energy savings. As a result, many low-income Californians are effectively denied the benefits of the program, and California ratepayers are denied a substantial conservation opportunity.

The CPUC is authorized to establish programs to provide financial assistance for energy efficiency programs for existing residential and nonresidential buildings. They have ruled that repairs or replacements of heating and cooling systems for multifamily buildings occupied by low-income households do not qualify for financial assistance under the LIEE program and are the responsibility of the landlord.

AB 1124 would state the intent of the legislature to allow the use of ratepayer energy efficiency funds for improvements to heating and water systems in multifamily rental apartment buildings. This bill would ensure that only multifamily rental apartment buildings with a majority of the units occupied by low-income households are eligible for LIEE funds.

AB 1124 establishes priority objectives for such improvements which include:

  • Increased cost effectiveness;
  • Administrative efficiency;
  • Reduced barriers to accessing funds; and
  • Better leveraging of other feral and state rebate and incentive programs.