Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Informational Resources and Guides
Tools and Calculators
Grants and Funding Programs


California Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs)

California IOU’s are required by the California Public Utilities Commission to offer energy efficiency programs to their customers. Each IOU program is unique; generally the programs offer rebates, financing assistance, design assistance, educational seminars, and other forms of assistance. Rebates are typically a set amount of financial assistance for a specific energy efficiency technology though most utilities also offer custom rebate programs that are more flexible. Learn more about each IOU’s assistance directed at Local Governments by clicking on the links below for your energy service provider(s).

Some energy utilities offer On-Bill Financing (OBF) in conjunction to their incentive programs. OBF offers eligible customers (including local governments) zero-percent financing for qualifying energy-efficiency improvements. The loan payments are made to the energy utility and appear as additional charges on each facility’s utility bill. Examples of OBF programs include those offered by Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas and Electric (both allow up to $250,000 per facility).

If your community is not served by one of the IOU’s listed above, contact your energy service provider for more information on their energy efficiency programs and On-Bill Financing.

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, water, and transit companies in California to ensure the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure. Two of the CPUC’s programs offer significant funding opportunities for local government sustainability efforts.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing
California allows local governments to set up loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements to be paid back through property tax payments over a 20-year period. The loans carry a fixed interest rate and stay with the property, if the tenant or owner moves, the next tenant or owner continues to pay for the loan through property taxes. The DOE offers a guide for local governments on PACE financing. Read about the City of Berkeley’s program, the first city to offer PACE programs.
California Energy Commission (CEC)
The CEC operates the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), which includes a Step-by-Step Guide for Local Governments on how to “Go Solar”. The guide includes model ordinances and model resolutions that local governments can use encourage community adoption of solar and energy efficiency.
California Municipal Utility Association
Financing Authority for Resource Efficiency in California (FARECal) provides flexible, joint/pooled financing for energy efficiency, water conservation and water reclamation projects to municipalities and local districts with publicly owned utilities. To receive funding, agencies must be a member of the California Municipal Utilities Association.