BayREN Annual Report 2023: Building Blocks for a Brighter Future

BayREN Rising Sun
Youth participating in the Rising Sun Center for Opportunity’s Climate Careers Program carrying energy efficiency kits. Since 2019, BayREN has provided funding for the program. Rising Sun Center for Opportunity photo.

The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) has released its 2023 Annual Report, Building Blocks for a Brighter Future, which encapsulates the significant efforts and milestones achieved throughout the year in advancing energy efficiency and sustainability across the Bay Area. 

In 2023, BayREN celebrated a decade of impactful initiatives, marking a pivotal year characterized by substantial growth and innovation. BayREN’s efforts are tangible, having upgraded 72,000 housing units, disbursed over $78 million in incentives, and helped to avoid 166 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions to date. 

"(It) was a pivotal year for the BayREN team," said BayREN Portfolio Administrator Jane Elias, reflecting on the accomplishments of 2023. "BayREN’s foundational success and continuous improvement process empower us to build for a brighter future through our relationships, program portfolio, strategic planning, and intentional involvement of communities within the region." 

A particularly notable success is the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) approval of a comprehensive eight-year Business Plan. The approval solidifies BayREN's position as a leader in regional-scale energy efficiency programs and as the first non-utility program administrator to lead a California-wide program. 

Impactful new projects that launched throughout the year and demonstrate BayREN’s commitment to drive positive change and resilience within local communities include:

  • The Resilient Libraries Network Pilot, which is intended to propel the transformation of six local libraries.
  • The launch of the BayREN Existing Building Study that aims to identify information gaps regarding the Bay Area’s existing building stock and scalable recommendations for decarbonization.
  • The initiation of a redesign process for the Single Family Home+ program to better serve moderate income and hard-to-reach residents. 

Throughout the year, BayREN's existing programs also demonstrated remarkable success. Notably, the BayREN Business program relaunched in June 2023. By the end of the year, the program processed 67 projects. The Green Labeling program celebrated the second consecutive record-breaking Home Energy Score rebate disbursal, enabling over 5,600 single-family homes to participate in the program.

As BayREN embarks on its second decade of program implementation, the annual report serves as a testament to the coalition's commitment to integrating equity, filling gaps, and addressing barriers to energy efficiency and electrification.

BayREN is a collaboration between the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the nine San Francisco Bay Area Counties formed in 2012 to promote energy and resource efficiency. As one of the state’s five Regional Energy Networks (RENs) – with a sixth pending approval – BayREN provides regional-scale energy efficiency programs, services, and resources that reflect the needs of local residents, property and business owners, governments, and more.

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