EPIC’s biggest investment in 2021 came in a project known as Building Decarbonization. With an investment of $232 million, the Building Decarbonization project focused on creating new sustainable technologies for homes and businesses. They focused mainly on a new and more efficient solar panel that works differently than traditional ones. Known as the “Sky Panel,” these panels work more to reflect the heat caused by the sun to help create a renewable source of cooling. These panels are expected to provide $3,000 in electricity savings per grocery store and improve efficiency of refrigeration systems by 10–40 percent.82 Unlike standard solar arrays, these panels also don’t dump heated air back into the environment.
Like the other project funded by EPIC—the Grid Decarbonization and Decentralization program—the Building Decarbonization Program’s economic impact can really be highlighted in the value added to the economy as a result of its investment. In this case, the $232 million invested in Building Decarbonization has resulted in nearly $369 million of economic value. Both the Grid Decarbonization and Decentralization project and the Building Decarbonization Program have produced a comparable amount of economic value as the GGRF-funded projects analyzed above. This sets a strong precedent for a push for more projects and programs, even if they are not necessarily funded through the GGRF.
82 Electric Program Investment Charge 2021 Annual Report. California Energy Commission. April 2022. Available at: https://www.energy.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2022-04/EPIC_2021_Annual_Report_STAFF_500_2022_002_ada.pdf
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