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New Inclusive Utility Investment Program for Californians

Written by Joe Roberts

Published on September 28, 2023


New Inclusive Utility Investment Program for Californians

A new inclusive utility investment program may soon make energy efficiency upgrades to California homes more affordable. Read our guide to get the scoop.

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Huge news for environmentally-minded Californians! The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) just introduced a new inclusive utility investment program (IUI). This program will be an expansion of the commission's existing on-bill financing programs, and it will aim to make certain energy-efficiency upgrades to homes much more affordable for customers.

If you live in California and want to make your home more energy-efficient and eco-friendly, keep reading! We’ll explain how IUI programs work, what home improvement projects they can be used for, and how you can prepare for the eventual rollout of California’s new program.

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What is an inclusive utility investment program?

IUI financing programs are a proven solution to a complex catch-22. Clean energy upgrades make homes more cost-effective, and they’re essential for combatting the climate crisis. The problem is that they’re too expensive for many United States homeowners to afford.

IUI programs solve this issue by getting utility companies to pay for applicable upgrades instead of customers. The utility companies then recoup these costs over several years by charging a tariff on the customer’s monthly bill. The best part is that these tariffs must be less than the net savings the customers get from their upgrades, so the customer always benefits.

To illustrate, let’s say you improved your home’s insulation using an IUI program, which decreased your monthly energy bill by $30. Your utility company will charge you a tariff to pay for the upgrade, but it has to charge you less than $30, so you’d enjoy some savings. The exact amount your utility can charge you will depend on the particulars of your IUI program, though.

Another excellent aspect of IUI programs is that, unlike similar financing options, they aren’t dependent on your income or credit score. Anyone can apply to benefit from an IUI program, hence the “inclusive” part of the name. 

When will California’s IUI program become available?

California’s new IUI program is still in its initial phases, so it has yet to be finalized. Currently, the proposal simply directs a coalition of California utility providers to draft their own proposals for how the IUI program will work, so it’s unclear exactly what the program will look like or when it will get rolled out to customers. More concrete details should be coming in 2024, though.

You can read the full CPUC proposal here

What services can an IUI be used for?

Applicable upgrades vary between different programs, and because California’s new IUI program is far from finalized, we’ll have to wait until it’s published to know exactly what upgrades it can be used for. That said, here’s a list of fixtures and projects IUIs may cover:

Getting ready for California’s upcoming IUI program

While it’s too soon to start booking upgrades if you want to monopolize California’s upcoming IUI program, now is the perfect time to find out how energy-efficient your home is. An energy efficiency audit can tell you exactly where your home needs improvement. Book yours today so you can start making improvements as soon as California’s IUI is finalized.

Get an energy efficiency audit for your home

Written by

Joe Roberts Content Specialist

Joe is a home improvement expert and content specialist for Fixr.com. He’s been writing home services content for over eight years, leveraging his research and composition skills to produce consumer-minded articles that demystify everything from moving to remodeling. His work has been sourced by various news sources and business journals, including Nasdaq.com and USA Today. When he isn’t writing about home improvement or climate issues, Joe can be found in bookstores and record shops.