Policy & Regulatory

CSE offers experience, insight and practical recommendations that help inform the public debate on policies affecting the energy marketplace and lead to the creation of effective and equitable solutions and programs.

By leveraging our extensive program administration experience and deep knowledge of current energy sector best practices, our policy team provides an innovative feedback loop to help governments and others reach their clean energy goals. We identify solutions, shape strategies and advocate processes that empower consumers at all socio-economic levels and accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy.

Our goal is to engage with governments, industry, nonprofits and other stakeholders in California and across the nation to facilitate investment in and consumer adoption of clean energy, distributed energy resources and electrified transportation.


Read about CSE's most recent legislative and regulatory insights.

Services We Offer


Legislative Resources

During the 2016-17 legislative session CSE actively monitored and conducted analysis on energy legislation in California. Listed below are our priority bills from this session.

  • AB 1341, Calderón: Proposed an income tax rebate for EVs in place of CVRP
  • AB 193, Cervantes: Air Quality Improvement Program: Clean Reused Vehicle Rebate Project
  • SB 1, Beall: Transportation funding
  • SB 41, Galgiani: State Air Resources Board: compliance: regulations
  • SB 53, Hueso: Natural gas vehicles
  • SB 100, De León: achieve a state renewable resources target of 60% by Dec. 2030
  • SB 700, Wiener: Energy Storage Initiative; energy storage market transformation program
  • SB 356, Skinner: Improving access to green button and grid‐level data
  • AB 797, Irwin: Continuation of CSI Thermal
  • AB 378, Garcia: Greenhouse gases, criteria air pollutants, and toxic air contaminants
  • AB 398, Garcia: California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: market‐based compliance mechanisms
  • AB 1414, Friedman: Solar energy systems: permits
  • AB 1552, Quirk – Silva: Electricity: distributed generation
  • AB 1573, Bloom: Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program
  • AB 1662, Obernolte: Net Energy Metering
  • SB 57, Stern: Natural gas storage moratorium
  • SB 64, Wieckowski: Independent System Operator: integration of generation from renewable energy resources
  • SB 71, Wiener: Electricity: solar energy systems
  • SB 263, Levya: Climate Assistance Centers
  • SB 366, Levya: Electrical corporations: Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program
  • SB 775, Wieckowski: California Global Warming
  • SB 801, Stern: Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility
  • SB 242, Skinner: Establishes statewide PACE best practice standards
  • AB 271, Caballero: Property Assessed Clean Energy program
  • AB 419, Salas: Zero net energy residential buildings reporting
  • AB 1431, Arambula: Energy efficiency: renewable energy resources and energy affordability
  • SB 370, Hertzberg: Energy Efficiency
  • SB 385, Hueso: Public Utilities Commission - ex parte communications
  • SB 518, De Leon: Clean energy job creation, citizen oversight board

Regulatory Proceedings

CSE helps connect policymakers and regulators to our work on the ground.

Roadmap for the Commercialization of Microgrids in California

CSE has participated in a series of workshops jointly hosted by the California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Independent System Operator to develop a Roadmap for the Commercialization of Microgrids in California, providing input on financial, regulatory, and technical barriers to commercialization and growth of microgrids in California.

Self‐Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

CSE’s policy team closely collaborates with the SGIP Program Administration (PA) team on a regular basis to provide comments to the California Public Utilities Commission that help shape revisions to the SGIP and better refine the proposed modifications to revise the SGIP Handbook. CSE’s policy and SGIP teams have worked closely to provide highly influential comments that proved instrumental in preventing significant delays in the recent program opening and preserving the considerable positive and costly program refinements to date.

Energy Efficiency Financing Pilots

Working closely with the CSE programs team responsible for energy efficiency financing marketing, education, and outreach (ME&O) program implementation, CSE provided several key clarifications and requests for modifications that were ultimately incorporated into the California Public Utilities Commission’s Decision Addressing Energy Efficiency Financing Pilot Programs Originally Ordered in Decision 13‐09‐044.

AB 693 Implementation/AB 327 Alternatives for Disadvantaged Communities

CSE continues to work internally as well as with external stakeholders to hone its policy recommendations in advance of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Proposed Decision, expected in Q4 2017, to implement the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing Roofs (MASHR) Program created by AB 693. The MASHR Program will provide financial incentives for the installation of solar energy systems on multifamily affordable housing properties throughout California. In addition, CSE has provided comments regarding Parties’ proposals for alternatives to the NEM Successor Tariff or contract for residential customers in disadvantaged communities pursuant to AB 327.

Transformative Climate Communities

CSE has regularly provided comments to prioritize the inclusion of planning and installation of clean energy technologies in the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program, created by AB 2722 (Burke, 2016), as well as participated in workshops held in Fresno and Sacramento and meetings with Strategic Growth Council (SGC). In discussing the developments of the TCC Program, CSE has shared key policy perspectives and assessed the potential opportunities for CSE to further engage in the program as a partner. CSE continues to engage with TCC stakeholders to identify opportunities for local project development in Fresno, Los Angeles, and communities competing for the third funding award.

Volkswagen (VW) Settlement Plan

CSE continues to track and comment on the VW settlement plan, and we have stated clear policy support for the rapid settlement of the plan while providing a balanced critique of where VW’s settlement plan should better align with California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) instructions. CSE’s policy team will continue to monitor the progression of the VW settlement and coordinate with CSE’s transportation programs team on appropriate avenues to provide policy feedback on the next iterations of the VW settlement plan.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)

BART’s Board of Directors recently adopted a revised Sustainability Policy, drawing on CSE’s recommendations from the BART Solar Feasibility study, where CSE recommended that BART set GHG targets and use advanced technologies to achieve these targets as well as set a goal to define BART trains as ZEVs powered by 100% carbon free power. The renewable energy initiatives underway by BART present a major win for the mass transit sector, an ideal path to add massive amounts to electric‐miles to California’s transportation portfolio, and an expanded path to deep GHG emissions reductions.

Utility SB 350 Transportation Electrification Proposals

California utilities have submitted applications proposing transportation electrification programs as required by SB 350. CSE’s policy team has responded to several of the utility proposals, overall seeking required statewide coordination for education and outreach programs with statewide touchpoints, further guidance regarding anonymous and aggregated data, evaluation of the use of a single, neutral, third-party program ombudsman to facilitate transportation electrification activities, and prioritization of transportation electrification investments that complement statewide transportation and infrastructure policy initiatives. CSE’s policy team continues to track these activities.

SB 350 Low-Income Barriers Study Implementation

To better understand barriers to clean energy and clean transportation adoption by those living in low-income and disadvantaged communities, SB 350 directed both the California Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board to research and develop reports highlighting these barriers. CSE participated in workshops to provide input in the development of these barriers reports, helping to build our expertise in equity matters and further informing CSE’s program work related to low-income and disadvantaged communities.

CVRP Waitlist and Set‐aside for Low‐and‐Moderate Income Consumer Rebates

CSE’s transportation programs and policy teams have collaborated to develop and activate a plan for continuation of CVRP rebates through the end of the funding year, October 2017. Each year CVRP experiences higher demand for EV rebates than can be supported with current funding. To address this, CSE met with the Governor’s Office, the California Air Resources Board, Assembly Budget Committee staff, key legislators, and key stakeholders to provide program data, share information about program operations, and identify the need for a waitlist. Additionally, to maintain momentum in outreach efforts to low‐and‐moderate income (LMI) consumers and communities, CSE worked with stakeholders to create a set‐aside from the remaining funds for LMI rebates. This allows for prioritization of these rebates during the waitlist period, and keeps the program going until the next funding cycle. The waitlist and LMI rebates set‐aside were approved and are currently in effect.


Find more regulatory proceedings on our RESOURCES page.

Research and Reports

CSE provides timely research and reports to inform clean energy policies and regulation.

Meet the Policy Team

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Policy Manager

Facilitates CSE’s legislative and regulatory affairs activities relevant to energy efficiency, building codes & standards, demand response, and other demand-side programs

Senior Transportation Policy Manager
Works with agencies and elected officials on alternative energy vehicle policies
Distributed Generation (DG) Policy Manager

Facilitates CSE’s legislative and regulatory affairs activities relevant to renewables, DG, energy storage, Net Energy Metering (NEM), and other demand-side programs

Regulatory Analyst

Supports CSE’s regulatory affairs activities and local and state clean energy policies

Government Affairs Analyst
Supports local and state clean energy policies