California Geothermal Legislative Update

The newly formed California Geothermal Heat Pump Association (CalGeo) continues its relentless pursuit of passage for AB 2339, a bill that will advance geothermal heat pump (GHP) technology in the Golden State. The measure seeks recognition of GHPs as renewable distributed generation energy—and as a superior energy efficiency technology that can substantially reduce greenhouse gases while dramatically cutting California energy demands.

The bill has been amended, now directing the California Energy Commission instead of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to identify and address barriers to widespread deployment of GHPs and geothermal ground loop technologies. With that change, the CPUC dropped its initial opposition to the measure.

AB 2339 cleared the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and Appropriations Committee by unanimous vote. Bipartisan support continued as the measure succeeded in similar fashion on the Assembly floor. The bill has begun its journey through the California Senate, with passage out of the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee by yet another unanimous vote on June 19. The California Geothermal Heat Pump Association, California Geothermal Energy Collaborative, and California Groundwater Association support the bill.