Sustainability

The BayREN Business Plan: prioritizing equity, leading on energy efficiency

BayREN team meeting
BayREN team meeting.

BayREN’s Business Plan submitted in early March to the California Public Utilities Commission, reflects an ambition to achieve California’s climate and energy goals while enabling an urgent evolution of the organization, resources, and programs to integrate equity more intentionally.

BayREN  — administered by ABAG —  offers regional energy programs, services and resources that promote energy savings. BayREN has a unique program structure: it is a collaboration of the nine Bay Area Counties, with one member agency representing each county. The business plan extends from 2024 through 2031.

For BayREN, equity means addressing systemic barriers to energy efficiency and electrification, especially for, and in collaboration with, equity priority communities and those who disproportionately face energy burdens, climate impacts, and are underrepresented in policy and decision-making.

With more than 65% of the 8-year budget proposal supporting equity programs, BayREN intends to bolster its six existing programs, and create four new programs, all focused on continuing to fill program and policy gaps, addressing barriers to energy efficiency and electrification, and enabling jurisdictions to meet State goals.

The plan also aims to provide increased support for local governments to respond to quickly evolving regional and state policy trends centered on building electrification and climate resilience.