Media Tip Sheet: California's Utility Law and Energy Efficiency

June 2, 2023

Donna Attanasio

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2023)- The state of California has passed a law requiring its utilities companies to charge customers based on both how much electricity they use, and how much money they make. This law combines energy efficiency, America’s socio-economic classes and the conversation doesn’t stop in California.

If you would like more context on the matter, please consider Donna Attanasio, Assistant Dean for Energy Law; Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University. Attanasio leads GW’s Energy Law Program and Sustainable Energy Initiative. Attanasio’s primary areas of research and writing relate to the electric utility industry and its transition into a more sustainable fuel mix. Attanasio has served chair of renewable energy task forces, the former President of the Energy Bar Association and board of EBA and its affiliate organization.

In particular to California’s new law, and its impact on potential laws across the country, namely in our nation’s capitol, Attanasio’s expertise commentary follows, “The issue of how the energy transition affects low-income customers has been one of concern to the GW Law Energy Law program for years. Programs such as the one California is proposing are not novel.  California's program seems more extreme because of the extraordinarily high rates imposed on California ratepayers. However, across the country, including here in DC, our poorest neighbors often bear a disproportionately high energy burden (that is, the portion of their income needed to pay for energy).”

If you would like to speak with Dean Attanasio, please contact  GW media relations specialist Shannon Mitchell at [email protected].