California Universities Could Lower GHG Emissions in PG&E Pilot Program - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions  -  March 18, 2022

California Universities Seek Approval for Pilot to Lower GHG Emissions

California universities could lower their GHG emissions by participating in a pilot program with  Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

The pilot program is pending approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and would allow PG & E to team up with the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems to introduce a Clean Energy Optimization Pilot (CEOP) to campuses across Northern and Central California.

First unveiled by Southern California Edison for UC and CSU campuses in their service area, the program focuses on substantially lowering GHG emissions at the source. Universities would receive incentives directly based on their GHG reductions. PG&E also proposes to consider the expansion of this program to similarly situated customers in the future.

The University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems in PG&E’s service area would be eligible. Participants could take a variety of steps to receive incentives, including:

  • Retrofitting buildings to be more energy-efficient
  • Building new construction efficiently with energy usage top of mind
  • Investing in on-site renewables, such as solar, and energy storage 
  • Installing EV charging stations and electrifying customers’ fleets to run on clean electricity.

If approved, the program could begin as early as 2023 and would run for four years.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most critical and impactful steps an organization can take to reduce its environmental impact. Innovative and collaborative programs like the Clean Energy Optimization Pilot are essential to the future of a clean California, and PG&E is proud to collaborate with California universities on this exciting proposal,” said Aaron August, PG&E vice president of business development and customer engagement in a statement.

In the CPUC filing, PG&E seeks to use approximately $50 million of unspent, unallocated GHG auction revenues over a four-year period. Funding would result from California’s Cap-and-Trade Program, not from customer rates.


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