Staff Report

Three Central Coast counties have won approval from the California Public Utilities Commission for a business plan that will let them receive CPUC funding directly to implement regional energy-efficiency programs.

The goal of the Tri-County Regional Energy Network (3C-REN) is to allow Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties to launch programs that help residents reduce energy use and meet the goals of local climate-action plans.

The CPUC approval on May 31 allows the three counties to receive ratepayer funding directly from the CPUC rather than through investor-owned utilities.

The plan outlines proposed energy efficiency programming and budgets to meet state guidelines.

“The approval of Tri-County Regional Energy Network’s business plan will help us more effectively meet local energy efficiency needs and better serve the diverse needs within the tricounty region,” said Mike Powers, Ventura County executive officer.

“Staff from all three counties have been working diligently over the last 18 months to develop the 3C-REN Business Plan and participate in the extremely intensive regulatory process required by the CPUC to get final approval,” said Das Williams, Santa Barbara County’s 1st District supervisor. “Staff will now start working on developing implementation plans that outline the specifics of the energy efficiency programs we hope to launch in early 2019.”

The CPUC directed 3C-REN to put special emphasis on customers who are considered “hard-to-reach,” which they define as those without easy access to program information or who generally do not participate in energy efficiency programs due to a combination of barriers, such as language, business size, geographic reasons, and an ownership/renter relationship.

To see the 3C-REN Business Plan, visit