CPUC’s Solar Energy Program


Date Thursday March 30th 2006
Time 5:00 PM
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Commissioner Dian Grueneich will give a presentation on the California’s Solar Initiative Program. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created the largest solar program of its kind in any state in the country, a 10-year, $2.9 billion program designed to help California move toward a cleaner energy future and help bring the costs of solar electricity down for California consumers. The goal of the program is to increase the amount of installed solar capacity on rooftops in the state by 3,000 MW by 2017.


Dian M. Grueneich, a national expert in energy and environmental issues, was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and was sworn in on January 18, 2005. Commissioner Grueneich was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate on May 19, 2005, and will serve a full six year term that ends on January 1, 2011.

With more than 27 years of experience in energy and environmental issues, Ms. Grueneich recognizes the complex issues facing the Commission and the importance of strong public policy. She understands in detail the difficult economic choices facing families and businesses with regard to utility costs and is a strong advocate of ensuring reliable energy service, addressing climate change, implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, and offering customer choice.

Ms. Grueneich is an environmentalist who realizes the importance of forging broad-based agreements that will endure. She has served on the Board of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and was a past President of the Board of the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), where she oversaw development of CLCV's strategic plan and its evolution into a bipartisan spokesperson for California environmental groups. She has also served on the Board of the Mono Lake Committee.

In 1986, Ms. Grueneich founded her own law and consulting firm, known as Grueneich Resource Advocates (GRA) since 1993. She was the principal of GRA until her appointment to the Commission. In addition to assisting clients on strategic energy planning, rate analysis, utility negotiations, and energy efficiency opportunities, she has analyzed the State's energy and environmental problems, assisted in the implementation of energy efficiency programs and is the author of energy reports on energy efficiency to the California State Legislature and others.

From 1982-1985 Ms. Grueneich was a Senior Associate at Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe, a major San Francisco law firm, specializing in West Coast energy issues, including Pacific Northwest matters. From 1977-82, she was Staff Counsel at the California Energy Commission.

While at the PUC, Ms. Grueneich is committed to making California not only a national but international leader in demonstrating that energy efficiency and demand management, a sound economy, and reliable energy supplies at a reasonable and predictable cost, go hand-in-hand. Ms. Grueneich is also committed to working closely on telecommunication and water issues, particularly with regard to the interplay between competition, support for business growth, and consumer protection.

Ms. Grueneich earned a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in 1977 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Biology from Stanford University in 1974. She is a Democrat and resides in Berkeley with her husband, Steve Passek, and their two children.

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