Governor Newsom Proposes Game-Changing $1B Investment in a Clean Electric Future

January 10, 2022

Phasing out natural gas use in buildings and replacing it with clean electricity is critical if we hope to meet our decarbonization goals.

Governor Newsom's proposal today for California to dedicate nearly $1B billion to building electrification represents an important turning point in the effort to decarbonize the state's economy. We commend him and his administration's leadership on this issue. 

To be most effective and equitable, the governor's electrification push should build on the administration's recent initiatives to shore up grid reliability while emphasizing data-driven targeting to reach the most in-need customers who provide the greatest value to the grid. Using data to align electrification with behind-the-meter approaches to shift loads and maximize the use of renewables is critical.

The CPUC's new Market Access Programs provide a perfect example of how integrated demand-side virtual power plants (VPPs) can help to maximize the benefits of electrification by valuing savings at particular times. Market Access Programs (MAPs), are designed to meet California's 2022 forecasted 4.4 GW electric capacity shortfall by engaging the market to deliver peak or net peak demand savings through a variety of behind-the-meter solutions.  

Based on Recurve and MCE's technology-agnostic FLEXmarket program, Market Access Programs break down barriers to participation by paying providers (aggregators) for the value of their portfolio of customers to the grid, with a focus on reducing energy consumption between 4 pm and 9 pm in the summer. HVAC upgrades, insulation, controls, behavior programs, refrigeration, lighting, are fair game. 

By reducing the need for gas-powered peaker plants and shifting loads to take advantage of clean solar electrons on the grid, Market Access Programs help ensure that electrification provides a net carbon benefit to the system.

TECH Clean California is another critical initiative designed to drive market adoption of low-emission electric heat pump space and water heating for homes across California. Forty percent of TECH’s program benefits will be targeted towards low-income and disadvantaged communities. We applaud the legislature and the governor for enacting this landmark legislation as well as the CPUC and the CEC for their collaboration in executing it.  

Recurve is pleased to be working with the CPUC to support the program in three phases. First, with pre-program targeting to identify ideal customers for electrification. Second, with ongoing program performance tracking for real-time program optimization. Lastly, with measurement and evaluation of the grid, societal, and customer bill impacts of electrification at scale. 

Statewide incentives for the TECH program launched last week. Check out The Switch Is On website for details

Integrated, data-driven, and performance-based approaches to electrification are the key to making the governor's proposal successful. The good news is, these approaches are already being deployed. We look forward to working with the administration and all parties to help ensure that California's electrification initiative is a success.

Learn how utilities like SMUD are deploying integrated behind-the-meter solutions as part of their electrification and decarbonization plans. 

Find out more about Market Access Programs at our upcoming webinar or schedule a time to speak to our Strategic Partnerships Manager Randy Roy to learn how your efficiency or demand response business can profit from these important new initiatives!

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