Affordable Energy & Water Policy

Affordable, healthy and efficient homes expand access to opportunity for low-income families. By combining on-the-ground technical assistance with advocacy leadership, we improve state, local, and utility policies and programs to ensure benefits reach affordable housing and low-income renters across the state.

GREEN Network and Energy Efficiency for All

Our sustainable housing policy experts convene the Green Rental home Energy Efficiency Network (GREEN), a network of more than 50 nonprofit affordable housing organizations and housing agencies across the state.

We also partner with Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA), a coalition of mission-driven organizations that advance healthy, affordable energy solutions for underserved California renters. In California, EEFA’s work is led by a steering committee of nonprofit organizations including:

  • California Housing Partnership
  • Association for Energy Affordability
  • Build It Green
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Greenlining Institute
  • National Housing Law Project
  • Natural Resources Defense Council

Affordable Energy

The California Housing Partnership was a core contributor to the California Energy Commission’s SB 350 Low-Income Energy Barriers Report, where we provided input from the GREEN network on energy program participation barriers and solutions for increasing participation and benefits for affordable rental housing owners and renters. We have worked with coalition partners to shape programs that support energy affordability, including AB 693 which created the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Homes program with up to $1 billion in funding over 10 years to benefit low-income renters. 

We also bring deep energy policy expertise from our years of engagement with California Public Utilities Commission proceedings, including persuading the CPUC to dedicate $80 million to empower government and non-profit owners of rent-restricted affordable housing to participate in Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) programs for low-income households. 

Affordable Water

The California Housing Partnership’s Affordable Water Initiative preserves affordable homes for low-income Californians by establishing an equitable pathway to affordable water through conservation assistance and rate assistance. Rising water costs can lead to deferred maintenance and may compromise the health, safety and long-term affordability of rental homes for low-income Californians. Ensuring multifamily affordable housing properties and low-income renters have equal access to water conservation assistance will combat the threat of rising water costs by creating new pathways to success for disadvantaged communities.

We partner with local jurisdictions to support and enhance conservation and efficiency programs and policies that can be pilot models for the state’s effort to make water conservation a way of life. This includes developing a program summary of best practices from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s comprehensive water programs. It also involves ongoing support for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to develop low-income targeted programs that can help affordable housing owners comply with the City of Los Angeles’ energy and water benchmarking and retro-commissioning requirements.

We have also supported the state’s effort to create a statewide low-income water rate assistance program by serving as the multifamily and low-income renter expert to the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) and our environmental justice partners. Through public comments and participation in the Water Board’s working group for AB 401, we recommended program design features to reach low-income renters in multifamily and multifamily affordable homes – a challenge that many local water providers also face.