Legislation seeking to create a statewide program to help those who reside in low-income homes and apartments finance energy efficiency retrofits was voted down by the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee April 16. Committee chair Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) agreed to reconsider the legislation after the bill failed to win enough votes to advance. SB 37 by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is his second legislative attempt to create what is known as \u201con-bill financing\u201d for efficiency retrofits of low-income dwellings. Under it, investor-owned utilities would provide low-interest upfront financing to cover the retrofit costs. Utility financial clout is expected to produce far more favorable loan rates. The homeowner or renter would repay the loan over several years via an added charge in their utility bill. Utility bills are presumed to drop because of the installations. Investor-owned utilities opposed the bill in its current form. They maintain it shifts risks to other ratepayers. They claimed that de León\u2019s attempt to build in consumer protections allows renters who leave the retrofitted dwelling to skip off, for example, forcing others to pay off the loan. \u201cInstead of moving in the direction of protecting ratepayers, it moves in direction of protecting banks,\u201d said San Diego Gas & Electric lobbyist Heidi Dejong Barsuglia. The bill removes barriers said to be preventing the California Public Utilities Commission from creating a residential on-bill financing program. Currently, the CPUC is developing a similar program, but only for the commercial sector. Consumer advocates supported SB 37, noting many struggling ratepayers are unable to get loans for efficiency retrofits and that the few who do get saddled with high interest rates. \t \u201cThe benefit to working families simply outweighs the risks,\u201d said Ryan Young, Greenlining Institute attorney.