The California Public Utilities Commission has approved the Bay Area Regional Energy Network’s (BayREN) Business Plan for the next eight years, marking a pivotal role for energy efficiency in the Bay Area.
With a 4-year budget (2024 - 2027) of $171 million, BayREN aims to bolster energy efficiency and electrification efforts through new equity initiatives, an expanded portfolio that includes public sector, refrigerant replacement and workforce programs. BayREN was also approved to be the lead of a statewide Home Energy Score program, the first time that a non-utility has been selected as lead.
The Business Plan builds upon BayREN’s track record of success and incorporates feedback from a multitude of engaged stakeholders. Beyond supporting California with its aggressive climate and energy goals, BayREN has an increased focus on identifying and addressing barriers to energy efficiency and decarbonization in hard-to-reach, disadvantaged, and underserved communities.
The approved budget ushers a recommitment to equity for BayREN, as 60% of the four-year funds ($102 million) are allocated to equity programs. As a REN, a critical focus area is designing programs that provide value for underserved populations. For BayREN, two existing programs – Single Family (Home+), and Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements (BAMBE) – will continue to be focused on equity and will be joined by two new programs including the BayREN Refrigerant Replacement Program (BRRR) and Climate Careers.
BayREN is a regional collaboration between the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.