January 15, 2019
|Ethan Elkind, Ted Lamm
Improving the energy performance of existing buildings will be key to achieving California's efficiency and greenhouse gas emission goals. But owners of low-income, multifamily buildings face some of the greatest obstacles, including difficult access to capital, complex financing arrangements, and competing renovation needs. Residents in these buildings also experience a "split incentive" problem that limits owners' financial interest in upgrades that primarily reduce residents' utility bills.
While California's energy regulators and electric utilities fund and operate a number of incentive and rebate programs, structural barriers have hampered progress, including strict income qualification criteria, energy data opacity, and the complexity of combining multiple incentives into one project.
To address these challenges, UC Berkeley and UCLA Schools of Law are issuing a new policy brief based on two stakeholder convenings that identified policy solutions to address key barriers, increase access to energy efficiency incentives, and unlock environmental, financial, and quality-of-life benefits for owners and residents alike. A full-length report detailing the comprehensive findings will be released later this year. Among the solutions identified are:
The full report, which will include these and many more policy recommendations, will be released later in 2019.