Energy Policy Analyst - JC-375146
Energy Efficiency Branch / Procurement and Portfolio Management Section:
We are in a climate crisis that requires evolution of our electric grid and energy system. Energy Division’s Energy Efficiency Branch oversees policies and a portfolio of programs critical to reducing energy use, to reduce the impact of increasing electricity consumption to support transportation and building electrification, and making energy customer bills more affordable.
California’s investments in energy efficiency programs prior to 2022 were limited to those that result in greater dollar value from energy saved than the dollars invested (i.e. cost-effective). Energy savings targets (and thus GHG reduction) had declined in recent years because opportunities to achieve cost-effective savings have reduced. As regulators overseeing these Energy Efficiency(EE) program administrators, our priority is not only achieving energy savings and climate goals cost effectively, but simultaneously ensuring that the portfolio of EE programs align and support environmental, social justice and consumer protection goals set by the CPUC and state statutes. Therefore, in two consecutive Commission Voting meetings in 2021, May 20th and June 3rd, the CPUC reset the policy, allowing increased program dollars spent on delivery of deeper savings to participating customers, and ensuring the customers in greatest need participate and benefit.
In the Procurement and Portfolio Management Section within the Energy Efficiency Branch, we regulate Energy Efficiency (EE) programs across electric and gas Investor Owned Utilities (IOU), Regional Energy Networks (RENs), and Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs). We set the energy efficiency budgets and portfolio of programs for both market-rate customers and income qualified customers. The Section also oversees IOU outreach and web application portal design activities to enroll customers in numerous income qualified programs to help customers reduce their energy bills. Together the budget is over $1 billion annually and with tangible impacts of a) economic prosperity with delivery of programs, b) continuing to reduce customer energy bills in a time when the fraction of population unable to afford their bills is rising, c) reducing greenhouse gas emissions to support reaching state’s goal of a carbon free electric sector by 2045, and d) reduced costs of procuring new generation and transmission to meet energy demand.
In general, the analyst’s role includes developing policy recommendations, soliciting, reviewing, summarizing, and incorporating stakeholder input or proposals, and compiling data and presenting analytical evidence in support or rebuttal of policy options or proposals. The staff’s role in policy implementation includes proactive anticipation of risks and challenges, identifying gaps and inconsistencies in policy’s effectiveness, and ensuring data is collected for evaluation of the success of decision directed activities. The position thus requires an ability to conduct complex economic, policy and/or technical analyses and research.
The Energy Policy Analyst’s responsibilities may include income qualified and/or market rate energy efficiency initiatives. The Energy Policy Analyst specifically will be responsible for recommending and effectively implementing policy to deliver energy efficiency to residential customers. The draft 2023 potential and goals study forecasts that market rate residential building stock holds 67% of opportunity for electricity reduction from all California buildings. In 2023, $250 million or 29% of the approved EE budget across residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and public sectors is dedicated to reducing residential sector energy consumption.
To support California in transitioning residential energy efficiency programs to align with recent policy decisions and California laws, the Analyst will, among other duties:
- Oversee regulated entities’ implementation of CPUC orders, such as utilities’ efforts for increasing residential customer participation in programs (e.g. user friendly application/enrollment systems); solicitations for program implementers; and/or review of demographics of customers served and associated budget expenditures for programs designed to serve underserved customers for a more equitable statewide portfolio.
- Bring a critical thinking and process evaluation skillset to evaluate the efficacy of EE program administrators’ progress on reaching energy savings, carbon reduction, and/or environmental and social justice goals.
- Review and approve existing and new residential sector EE programs and budgets.
In these efforts, the Analyst will collaborate with state and local government agencies that have shared mission in equitably delivering benefits to residential energy customers. The analyst will also take a broad and strategic view, and collaborate with other divisions across the Commission, to add value through considering the bigger picture state and commission goals.