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Clean Energy Backers Want Utility Fees Extended

A coalition of California clean energy companies is calling on lawmakers to renew two utility fees set to expire at the end of the year. Those fees are one percent on your electricity bill and 0.7 percent on your natural gas bill.

Tom Steyer co-chairs a group called Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs. He said the fee funds clean energy research and development at the California Energy Commission.

"This is some money that is used - which has an enormous multiplier - in terms of investment and jobs in the state of California. So it's really important that it stay, because its results in terms of putting people to work and finding new technologies is huge."

Lawmakers have until session ends on September 9th to extend the fees. Three different bills dealing with the program have made it through either the Assembly or Senate.

Steyer also hopes the legislature will pursue regulatory changes that make it easier to create new energy businesses and encourage solar retrofits of homes and commercial offices.

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