Legislation helps California businesses achieve energy efficiency goals

California is the most populous state in the country, so it stands to reason that its residents also consume the most energy. Although energy-efficient homes can help reduce the overall burden felt by Californians, significant amounts of energy use can be curtailed by business owners who conduct commercial inspections of their buildings to reveal possible areas that can be improved.

The issue of exorbitant energy use became so serious that in March 2011, California lawmakers passed a bill that mandates one third of the state's power to be generated by renewable energy sources by 2020.

California has always been seen as a leader in the green energy movement, so its adoption of new policies to address its energy consumption could set a standard that other states will replicate in the future.

But, in order for these improvements, such as energy-efficient heating and insulation, to be realized, property owners will need to make an up-front investment to address these long-term concerns. New legislation announced this week seeks to help these business owners.

State lawmakers are attempting to rein in the state's commercial energy use by subsidizing the efforts of businesses to enhance their energy efficiency. Business owners will be able to obtain private loans to fund their green improvements, and proponents of the bill say it will not cost taxpayers money.

"It is really nice for a change to talk about moving California forward," state controller John Chiang told The Los Angeles Times. "We want to make sure California grows."

Whether businesses hire an inspection service to conduct an energy audit, or they prefer to institute their own reforms based on knowledge they possess about energy, they have about eight years to meet the goals set for them by the state.